Lilly King qualifies for 200-meter breaststroke in Paris, then gets engaged at Olympic trials

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Lilly King had an interesting few minutes at the Olympic trials on Thursday.

King had already qualified for her third games with a first-place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke on Monday, but had a chance to make history with the 200-meter race. A first- or second-place finish would have made King the first American to qualify for both races in three straight Olympics.

King got it done. Barely.

She entered the final length clearly behind Alex Walsh, but managed to close the distance in the last few meters to beat the 22-year-old by 0.45 seconds. Both finished well behind first-place finisher Kate Douglass, who has won the event in the last two world championships.

Douglass came 0.16 seconds short of beating her own American record.

Clearly, King left the pool knowing she had some work to do if she wants to match or improve on her silver-medal finish in the 200-meter in Tokyo.

Then, her boyfriend James Wells gave her a lot more to think about as she walked off, when he proposed marriage. King, who apparently received something of a warning when she was told to put her hair down, instantly said yes.

Wells' proposal:

"Just to see you grow has been so awesome and I don't regret for a minute dropping my job and moving halfway across the country for us to move in together. It has been awesome and I am very excited to see where this is going, so, dear, I was wondering, Lilly Camille King, will you marry me?

You'd imagine King and Wells will wait until after Paris to get the wedding planning started.

King earned fame in the 2016 Games when she beat out Russia's Yuliya Yefimova, who was previously suspended for doping, in the 100-meter breaststroke. She surprisingly came up short for gold in Tokyo, where she earned silver in the 200-meter and 4x100-meter medley relay, plus a bronze in the 100-meter behind fellow American Lydia Jacoby.

A return to the top in Paris would be quite a story, but King is already assured of having one very special moment in 2024.