Well, she definitely had it in her.
Using the 200 breaststroke as the encore to her meet record triumph in the 100 breaststroke, Yale’s Susan Kim quickly rewrote the record and issued a challenge to rest of the field that she was the one to beat.
This happened in the preliminaries.
Kim had carved through Nassau County waters to the tune of 2:13.14, lowering the meet record held by Columbia’s Cristina Teuscher in the process.
Her closest competitor? Nearly two full seconds behind.
So when it came time for the nightcap, there was a bit of a buzz in the stands. Those fans that had clamored for heat sheets most of the day saw it right there in black and white — “Meet Record, 2:13:14, 02-28-2009, Susan D Kim, Yale”.
No pressure or anything like that, I’m sure.
Having already broken the record, she did not have to prove anything. Just win, smile and go home. Her work seemingly already done. But Kim rose to the magnitude of the moment. She gave the crowd what they wanted. Another meet record — this time 2:12.86, and 1.13 faster than Mariele Dunn, who finished second.
[Editor’s Note: It was very reminiscent of Kyoko Iwasaki’s race from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, especially when Iwasaki (then 14 years of age) kicked it into high gear for that last 50m. Kim lead the race from the onset — unlike Iwasaki — but shared Iwasaki’s high rate of transition from the pull to the recovery.
Here is a video of that Iwasaki race. A fun little trip down memory lane.]