With reigning Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin failing to qualify for the final, it was guaranteed that there would be a new champion in the women’s 200 meter backstroke. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu entered the final as the favorite to win gold, which would have been her fourth of these Olympics, and at the final turn it appeared as if she would accomplish that.
But American Maya DiRado chased down Hosszu, winning the race and her first Olympic gold medal in an individual event. DiRado finished in 2:05.99, with Hosszu taking silver with a time of 2:06.06.
DiRado has won two gold medals in Rio, with the other coming in the 4×200 free relay. Add in a silver in the 400 IM and a bronze in the 200 IM, and one has to wonder if DiRado is having second thoughts on the decision to retire at the end of these Olympics.
Taking the bronze was Canada’s Hilary Caldwell, who finished in 2:07.54.