TOKYO, Japan — Chase Kalisz was back in action Wednesday morning, taking the first step in his quest to secure a second gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Kalisz, who won Team USA's first gold medal of the Olympics with his victory in the men's 400m individual medley on Saturday night, took the pool for his qualifying heat in the 200m individual medley.
He clocked the best time in his heat, at 1:57.38, easily securing one of the 16 spots in the semifinal races later tonight. He'll be racing in one of two semifinals that begin at 11:08 p.m.
Accounting for the other heats, Kalisz's time was the fourth-best of qualifying - suggesting he'll be right there in contention for a second medal tonight.
On Saturday night, Kalisz and another former Bulldog, Jay Litherland, provided what's sure to be one of the enduring highlights from these Olympics when they secured gold and silver in a Team USA 1-2 in the 400m individual medley.
Shortly after the race, UGA Head Swim Coach Jack Bauerle told 11Alive, “When you have two on one team in the same event and they get a gold and silver it’s rare.” He added, “They’ve been teammates forever but they’ll be teammates for life now.”
Kalisz and Litherland have been through a lot together.
“We really had the rug pulled out from under us,” Kalisz said. “Us as a group here at Georgia really made the best out of a bad situation ... we were training in back yard pools and lifting in my garage for an entire year.”
After what he felt was a disappointing silver in Rio, Kalisz is charged up in Tokyo.
“I’m in a perfect position, a position that I thrive, I’m the hunter again,” Kalisz stated.