Spring Grove grad Hali Flickinger wins 200 fly silver at World Swimming Championships
- Hali Flickinger won a silver medal at the World Swimming Championships Thursday.
- The Spring Grove High School graduate was second in the 200-meter butterfly.
- Flickinger finished in 2:06.95. Hungary's Boglarka Kapas won in 2:06.78.
Hali Flickinger splashed her way to a silver medal at the World Swimming Championships on Thursday in Gwangju, South Korea.
The Spring Grove Area High School graduate finished second in the 200-meter butterfly final. She missed the gold medal by just a fraction of a second.
Flickinger finished in 2 minutes, 6.95 seconds. Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas won the event in 2:06.78. Another American, Katie Drabot, was third in 2:07.04.
Drabot led by a nail over Flickinger at the halfway mark. Drabot continued to lead through the 150-meter mark, but the field, led by Kapas, caught up to them on the final 50 meters.
It was Flickinger's best-ever World Championship finish and her first-ever world medal. She was ninth in the 200 fly at the 2017 World Championships. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she took seventh in the same event.
The 25-year-old former York YMCA standout had entered the event as the No. 1 seed after posting a time of 2:06.25 in her semifinal heat. The former University of Georgia star was even faster in her preliminary race, finishing in 2:05.96.
Drabot entered as the No. 2 seed at 2:06.59, while Kapas was the No. 3 seed at 2:07.33.
Kapas' title is the first-ever Hungarian medal in the women's 200 fly.
The Flickinger-Drabot silver-bronze finish is the first time two Americans have gotten world medals in the women's 200 fly since 1978.
On a roll: Flickinger's World Championship performance should make her a solid medal contender for the 2020 Summer Olympics, set for Toyko.
The York County woman has been on a serious roll of late after stepping away from swimming for three months in 2017 to recharge her batteries and focus on her health, physically and mentally.
“I was becoming more concerned about the outcomes and being so disappointed in myself that I really needed to step back and find my love (for swimming) again," Flickinger said in June. "I really believed that once I found that, the results would come.”
Since she has returned to swimming, the results have come. Flickinger's times have gotten lower and her finishes have gotten better. Now she appears ready for even more.
“I am proud that I overcame the challenges I had,” Flickinger said in June. “It means everything to me. I love this sport. I have done some great things, but there is so much more I want to do in this sport.”
Reach Steve Heiser at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rob Rose contributed to this report.