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Legendary Swimmer Katinka Hosszú to Continue Until 2024 Olympics

Hungarian swimming legend Katinka Hosszú discussed her short and long-term goals and the new International Swimming League (ISL).

She also revealed her plans for after the Tokyo Olympic Games. Hosszú will continue swimming professionally and has her eyes set on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The Iron Lady revealed her struggle with depression following her fourth-place finish in the 2012 London Olympics. For Hosszú, London “was the failure of my life. I even considered retiring. I wanted to go back to university for my Masters in Psychology.” Despite the setback, she continued to train with her ex-husband, Shane Tusup, and became the legendary Iron Lady, snagging gold medal after gold medal.

Rather than setting out to win an Olympic gold medal, she focused on hitting time targets and setting world records. As a result, the gold medals followed. Hosszú said:

It didn’t matter if someone preceded me, I just had to finish within the target time I wanted to reach.

She also spoke about her new coach and her contact with her fellow swimmers. According to Hosszú, it was difficult to “find the balance between Katka and the Iron Lady, and most of the time I was the latter. Now, I’m the Iron Lady when I train or compete, otherwise, I’m Katka. I like to talk to the other swimmers about serious subjects such as ISL or how to improve the swimming scene.”

After the World Championship, she will compete in the World Cup in Asia in August. Afterward, in autumn, she will head to the first ISL competition prior to attending the Hungarian and European championships.

When asked about her plans after the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Hosszú revealed her choice to continue swimming. She said that she doesn’t “have much time left in the sport, five years if I’m lucky, we’ll see.” However, her FINA Champions Swim Series results suggest she could be even better after 30. She explained that most swimmers retire at a young age because of lack of motivation; swimming and training can be monotonous and it’s not motivating financially either.

In swimming, I’m the one in control and I want to enjoy it for a while longer.

Hosszú definitely plans “to swim in the Paris Olympics in 2024. I don’t really feel that I’ll have enough of the sport next year. I love it. (…) The only thing that could stop me before 2024 is getting pregnant. But, this isn’t really a possibility right now.” She added that even after Paris and the retirement from professional sport, she will continue to swim just for the love of it.

On her side projects, such as her swim school, swimming association and the International Swimming League and the upcoming first season of the new competition series, Hosszú said that as she reached the top in swimming she started to look for new challenges as well: “When I decided to change direction, the world suddenly opened up and the possibilities started to flow in. It wasn’t a conscious decision that I’ll continue to swim and at the same time I will build a brand, do the League, the school and the club.”

In regards to her side projects – such as the swim school, swimming association, International Swimming League and upcoming first season of the new competition series – Hosszú explained that she started to look for new challenges after reaching the top in swimming: “When I decided to change direction, the world suddenly opened up and the possibilities started to flow in. Continuing to swim while also building a brand and doing the League, school and club wasn’t a conscious decision.”

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Katinka Hosszú among the best European athletes

Cristiano Ronaldo was chosen as the best European athlete of 2017, for the third time in a row.

Regarding the best Hungarian athlete, Katinka Hosszú finished in the 11th place which lags behind her bronze medal from last year but is still an outstanding result considering the illustrious names on the list.

As usual, the election was transacted by the Polish PAP news agency. The Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo received 159 points. He is followed by World Champion Formula-1 driver Lewis Hamilton with 143 points and Roger Federer, 2017 Australian Open and Wimbledon Champion.

The Iron Lady finished in the third place last year with 136 points, which is seemingly a vast difference. However, 2017 was probably a tougher year overall, hence the result.

The top10 European athletes of 2017:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portuguese, football) 159 points
Lewis Hamilton (British, Forma-1) 143 points
Roger Federer (Swiss, tennis) 124 points
Rafael Nadal (Spanish, tennis) 113 points
Sarah Sjöström (Swedish, swimming) 75 points
Marcel Hirscher (Austrian, alpine ski) 68 points
Laura Dahlmeier (German, biathlon) 51 points
Mo Farah (British, athletics) 51 points
Chris Froome (British, road racing cycling) 50 points
Katerina Sztefanidi (Greek, athletics) 41 points
Katinka Hosszú (Hungarian, swimming) 34 points

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Katinka Hosszu Thrilled With Hungarian 50 Back Record (Day 4 Quotes)

Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu won 2 more gold medals on Saturday at the European Short Course Championships, which marked her 6th of the meet individually and the 22nd of her career so far.

It was an up-and-down day (or more accurately, down-and-up) for the triple Olympic champion from Rio. After the 200 IM, Hosszu was disappointed with her result, in spite of a dominant 4-second margin of victory.

“I’m capable of clocking 2:01 but to be honest it’s a bit difficult hard to swim really well while you lack pressure from the others,” Hosszu said. “On backstroke I was already alone… Still, my target is always to bring the best out of myself – today I’ve managed to achieve what you saw.”

Later in the session, though, Hosszu achieved her first personal best of the meet so far – a 25.95 in the 50 backstroke. That time marked a new Hungarian National Record, shaving the slimmest of margins – .01 seconds – off her old standard from the 2014 World Championships.

“At last a personal best, the first at these European Championships!” Hosszu said after the swim. “I’ve managed to put this session together mentally and I’m really proud that I could clock this time after the 200 IM. Not many swimmer are able to go under 26sec, it’s a great feeling that I belong to them.”

Full Quotes from Medalists, courtesy LEN, below:
Men’s 50m butterfly

Gold – Aleksandr Popkov, Russia, 22.42

“I just wanted to be in the top three, no matter what medal I got. Of course, I’m pretty happy with the gold but I definitely wanted a better time, it’s a bit disappointing, to be honest.”

Silver – Andriy Govorov, Ukraine, 22.43

“Why do we have this wall at the 25m? Actually I prefer to swimming long-course. I won this title three times in a row I just missed the fourth by 0.01sec.”

Bronze (Tie) – Benjamin Proud, Great Britain, 22.44

“I’m really happy and satisfied, despite I qualified to the final first. I’m on the podium now to it’s pretty good as in the 50m anything can happen.”

Sebastian Sabo, Serbia, 22.44

“When we touched the wall at the turn I saw that everybody was together then I started to swim faster and stronger as I knew really everything could happen. When I recognised that I came third it was amazing for me. My goal was to be in the final but to win a bronze it’s simply wonderful.”

Gold – Katinka Hosszu, Hungary, 25.95

“At last a personal best, the first at these European Championships! I’ve managed to put this session together mentally and I’m really proud that I could clock this time after the 200 IM. Not many swimmer are able to go under 26sec, it’s a great feeling that I belong to them.”

Silver – Alicja Tchorz, Poland, 26.09

“I finished 7th in the 100m so this was my last chance to win a medal. I thought I could make the podium, so I’m really happy now.”

Bronze – Maaike de Waard, Netherlands, 26.40

“I didn’t expect anything from this race as I knew I would be very close. Now I have a second bronze medal in 50m following the butterfly a few days ago. I like both strokes, there is no preference.”
Mixed 4x50m freestyle relay

Gold – Netherlands (Ranomi Kromowidjojo), 1:28.39 – WR

“Mixed relays have become more and more important that’s why we take very seriously. We were swimming inside the world record so everybody was at full speed.”

Silver – Russia (Vladimir Morozov), 1:28.53

“We wanted to win, maybe next time we can. I’m only happy with the medal, in the relay anything can happen.”

Bronze – Italy (Federica Pellegrini), 1:29.38

“Our tactic was to swim fast which is obvious in 50m, here nothing else matters. I’m really proud of the team so we are satisfied with the third place.”

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2017 European Short Course Championships: Day 4 Finals

Katinka Hosszu was the first to the wall, taking the top time of 26.26 into the final.

Julie Kepp Jensen is in medal position now with her 26.52 from the semis. After the Danish women put Emilie Beckmann into the 50 fly A final and produced a silver medal, they’ll look to Jensen to do something similar.

Russia’s Maria Kameneva was third with a 26.56.

MEN’S 50 FLY SEMIFINALS

TOP 8:

Ben Proud 22.18
Aleksandr Popkov 22.27
Sebastian Sabo 22.46
Andriy Govorov 22.50
Umitcan Gures 22.65
Pavel Sankovich 22.70
Yauhen Tsurkin 22.71
Michal Chudy 22.80

Briton Ben Proud was the quickest competitor in the men’s 50 fly semifinals, just under a tenth ahead of Russian Aleksandr Popkov (22.27).

Sebastian Sabo was 22.46 for third in the semis.

WOMEN’S 100 BREAST FINAL

MEDALLISTS:

Ruta Meilutyte 1:03.79
Jenna Laukkanen 1:04.25
Jessica Vall 1:04.80

Ruta Meilutyte shot out to a sizable lead, turning at 29.57 at the 50 meter mark. She held on the rest of the way, securing the gold medal with a time of 1:03.79. This is her second gold medal of the meet, as she’s already won the 50 breast earlier.

Finland’s Jenna Laukkanen posted a 1:04.25 to claim silver, while Spain’s Jessica Vall was 1:04.80 for the bronze. The medallists were the only sub-1:05 competitors tonight.

MEN’S 100 FREE SEMIFINALS

TOP 8:

Luca Dotto 46.82
Pieter Timmers 46.84
Duncan Scott 46.92
Dominik Kozma 46.98
Konrad Czerniak 46.99
Nandor Nemeth 47.06
Simonas Bilis 47.11
Mikhail Vekovishchev 47.27

Duncan Scott used a stellar back half to take the first semifinal heat in 46.92. He was out in 22.73 but came home in a 24.19 to come back on the field and hit the wall first. Konrad Czerniak was quick in the first semifinal, too, with a time of 46.99.

The second semifinal proved to be the faster one, though, as Luca Dotto (46.82) and Pieter Timmers (46.84) went 1-2 to take the top times heading into the final. Dominik Kozma was also under 47, registering a 46.98. His teenage teammate Nandor Nemeth will also swim in the final after going 47.06 in the semis.

WOMEN’S 200 IM FINAL

MEDALLISTS:

Katinka Hosszu 2:04.43
Evelyn Verraszto 2:08.09
Ilaria Cusinato 2:08.19

Katinka Hosszu charged to the win here, posting a time of 2:04.43. That’s well off of her 2:01.86 World Record, but it was more than enough to secure the gold medal, a solid three and a half plus seconds ahead of silver. The Hungarians would get the 1-2 sweep, with Evelyn Verraszto going 2:08.09.

Italian Ilaria Cusinato was 2:08.19 for bronze, holding off Swiss IM’er Maria Ugolkova (2:08.40), while France’s Fantine Lesaffre was also under 2:09 (2:08.83).

MEN’S 100 IM SEMIFINALS

TOP 8:

Sergei Fesikov 51.45
Marco Orsi 52.10
Kyle Stolk 52.28
Michal Chudy 52.53
Bernhard Reitshammer 52.56
Simone Geni 52.74
Emmanuel Vanluchene 52.78
Takov Tan Toumarkin 52.80

Marco Orsi was first at the 50 mark and he didn’t let up in the first semifinal, cruising to a time of 52.10 for the first heat win.

Russia’s Sergei Fesikov really impressed, though, in heat 2. He flew out to a huge lead with a 22.75 front half, and brought it back well to finish at 51.45, almost seven tenths faster than Orsi’s time from minutes earlier. Dutchman Kyle Stolk was 52.28 to clock the third fastest time going into the final.

WOMEN’S 200 FREE FINAL

MEDALLISTS:

Charlotte Bonnet, 1:52.19
Femke Heemskerk, 1:53.41
Veronika Andrusenko, 1:53.75

This one was all France’s Charlotte Bonnet. She was out fast, and won this race without much contest from the rest of Europe’s best. Bonnet was 1:52.19, over a full second ahead of silver medallist Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands (1:53.41).

Though Michelle Coleman was in third at the 150 mark, Russia’s Veronika Andrusenko overtook her in the final 50, grabbing the bronze in 1:53.75. Coleman would fall to fourth (1:54.27).

MEN’S 100 BREAST FINAL

MEDALLISTS:

Adam Peaty 55.94
Fabio Scozzoli 56.15
Kirill Prigoda 56.28

It’s been these three men all weekend in the breaststroke, but this time, Adam Peaty shut the other two down to win the 100 breast gold medal. Peaty’s time of 55.94 is a new meet record as well as a European record. He was out just several hundredths ahead of the field, and held on for the victory tonight.

Fabio Scozzoli and Kirill Prigoda both had great swims, too. Scozzoli was 56.15 for silver, and Prigoda 56.28 for bronze.

Nicolo Martinenghi was 57.27, a ways off of the podium, but was fast enough to crack his own World Junior record.

WOMEN’S 100 FLY SEMIFINALS

TOP 8:

Sarah Sjöström 55.56
Emilie Beckmann 56.51
Marie Wattell 56.67
Ilaria Bianchi 56.70
Aliena Schmidtke 56.76
Ranomi Kromowidjojo 57.05
Louise Hansson 57.10
Elinore de Jong 57.14

Sarah Sjöström took the top time in semis by almost a full second, going 55.56 to coast into finals.

The Danish women continue to impress in their home pool. Emilie Beckmann swam well in the first semifinal, winning it in 56.51 over France’s Marie Wattel (56.67) and Italy’s Ilaria Bianchi (56.70).

Another Swede, Louise Hansson, was 57.10 to make it into the final. Two Dutchwomen are in, too, as Ranomi Kromowidjojo (57.05) and Elinore de Jong (57.14) qualified 6th and 8th, respectively.

MEN’S 50 FLY FINAL

MEDALLISTS:

Aleksandr Popkov 22.42
Andriy Govorov 22.43
Sebastian Sabo/Ben Proud 22.44

This was just about the closest race as possible. Russia’s Aleksandr Popkov won gold in 22.42, with silver just a hundredth behind him, a 22.43 from Andriy Govorov of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, just another hundredth behind THAT, Sebastian Sabo and Ben Proud tied for bronze with twin 22.44’s.

WOMEN’S 50 BACK FINAL

MEDALLISTS:

Katinka Hosszu 25.95
Alicja Tchorz 26.09
Maaike de Waard 26.40

Katinka Hosszu picked up her second win of the night, edging out Poland’s Alicja Tchorz for gold in the 50 back. Hosszu was 25.95 to Tchorz’ 26.09.

Dutchwoman Maaike de Waard found her way to the podium with a 26.40, just able to beat out Danish teenager Julie Kepp Jensen, who was fourth in 26.42.

MIXED 4X50 FREE RELAY FINAL

MEDALLISTS:

Netherlands 1:28.39
Russia 1:28.53
Italy 1:29.38

Both the Netherlands and Russia were under the World Record, as the Dutch sprinters secured the gold with a 1:28.39 over Russia’s 1:28.53.

Russia and Italy got out to the lead with their male sprinters, but there was no match for Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Femke Heemskerk on the end, as the Dutch finished on top.

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Katinka Hosszu Opens European SC Champs with 400 IM Gold

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu led wire-to-wire on her way to a European title in one of her signature events, the 400 IM.

Even without approaching top form, she was still by far the class of the field, leading by almost a second at the 50-meter mark and extending her lead from there.

Hosszu finished in 4:24.78, well off Mireia Belmonte’s world record of 4:18.94 set n August or Hosszu’s own championship record of 4:19.46 from two years ago. With Belmonte skipping the meet, Hosszu was never going to be challenged here.

France swept the other two spots on the podium with Lara Grangeon finishing second in 4:28.77 and Fantine Lesaffre taking third in 4:30.68.

Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato was next at 4:32.85, and rounding out the final were Spain’s Africa Zamorano (4:35.45), Portugal’s Victoria Kaminskaya (4:36.19), Hungary’s Boglarka Kapas (4:38.08) and Great Britain’s Emily Large (4:39.01).

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KATINKA HOSSZÚ WINS HER 250TH GOLD AT THE FINA WORLD CUP

Katinka Hosszú won the gold medal of the 100m women’s medley on the second day of the Tokyo World Cup. According to the official twitter account of FINA (the International Swimming Federation), this was the 250th gold medal for the Hungarian swimmer in the World Cup Series history.

According to FINA, Hosszú brought home 250 of the total 368 that have been awarded in women’s World Cup Series races since 2012; in other words, in the past five years one swimmer has won over two-thirds of all possible womens’ gold medals. Hungary’s ‘Iron Lady’ has more World Cup wins than any female or male swimmer in history.

The Hungarian swimmer won the first race of the night, finishing first ahead of Japanese Rikako Ikea and Australian Emily Seebohmot with 57.38 sec in the 100m medley.

In the 200m backstroke she finished third with 2:03.56 behind the Australian Emily Seebohm (2:01.98) and the American Regan Smith (2:02.23).

Her third race was the 100m butterfly final, where Sarah Sjöström, the Swedish swimmer who is currnetly FINA’s highest-ranked swimmer this season, came in first with a world cup record. Hosszú finished eighth with 59.62 sec.

Olympic bronze medalist Szeto Daija (3:57.66) set a world cup record in men’s 400m individual medley, followed by two Hungarian swimmers in second and third places: Péter Bernek (4:03.38) and Dávid Verrasztó (4: 03.72). Boglárka Kapás finished second in 400m freestyle with 4:00.09.

The Swimming World Cup series gathers the best swimmers of the world in a series of two-day meets across nine locations, organized between August and November each year. This year’s series finale will be held in Singapore this weekend.

(fina.org)

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Katinka Hosszu Narrowly Misses 100 IM World Record on Final Night at Hong Kong World Cup

The final session of the FINA Hong Kong World Cup featured some of the best swimmers in the world as Katinka Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos were among the winners on Sunday night in Hong Kong.

The host country also almost came away with gold medals from Kenneth To and the mixed free relay, but they had to settle for silver.

Women’s 100 Back

Katinka Hosszu and Emily Seebohm went toe to toe in the 100 back final as the latter out-muscled Seebohm with a 56.20 to her 56.71. Those two were the class of the field as they were two full seconds ahead of third place finisher Chen Jie of China at 58.69.

Women’s 100 IM

In one of the most hyped races of the night, Katinka Hosszu ran away from Sarah Sjostrom with the 100 IM win. Hosszu narrowly missed her world record with a 56.97 ahead of Sjostrom’s 58.62. Hosszu and Sjostrom have been the stars of the World Cup series so far and are two of the best female swimmers of all-time. Australia’s Emily Seebohm was third at 58.77.

Women’s 400 IM

Katinka Hosszu finished her meet in Hong Kong with a win in the 400 IM at 4:33.55. She won handily ahead of the South African duo of Jessica Whelan (4:50.24) and Kristen Straszacker (4:50.49). Hosszu was well off the world record held by Mireia Belmonte of 4:18.94.

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Katinka Hosszu Leads In Three Events in First Morning of Hong Kong World Cup

The first morning of the World Cup in Hong Kong featured a long morning session. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu continued to make some noise as she led the way in three events. Also headlining the morning was World Cup leaders Chad Le Clos and Sarah Sjostrom leading the heats in their lone respective events.

Home favorite Kenneth To is also the top seed in the 100 IM as the Hong Kong crowd will be looking to cheer him on to a win. Tom Shields, Cameron van der Burgh and Femke Heemskerk also had good swims on Saturday morning.

Women’s 50 Back
Katinka Hosszu made her first appearance in the pool in Hong Kong as she swam a 26.99 in the 50 back heats. Hosszu is seeded ahead of Australia’s Emily Seebohm (27.10) and the Netherlands’ Maaike de Waard (27.42). Those three are head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the final. Hong Kong continued to make noise this morning as they placed two swimmers in this final.

Women’s 200 IM
Katinka Hosszu swam her second event of the session with a 2:05.64 to lead the 200 IM heats. She is well ahead of the rest of the field as Femke Heemskerk (2:11.83) and Alia Atkinson (2:12.62) were light years away from Hosszu. Emily Seebohm is also in tonight’s final along with Germany’s Alexandra Wenk.

Women’s 200 Back
Katinka Hosszu led a sparse field in the 200 back with a 2:04.85 ahead of Germany’s Lisa Graf (2:14.50) and South Africa’s Kristen Straszacker (2:18.94). Only five total people entered the event so everyone will get a second swim.

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Katinka Hosszu Slips Past 100 IM World Record in Berlin

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary continued to flex her IM prowess with a top showing in the women’s 100 IM in Berlin, Germany, while swimming in the 2017 FINA World Cup series.

Hosszu’s time of 56.51 slipped past her own previous world record of 56.67, which she posted in Netanya, Israel in 2015. It also downed her own World Cup record of 56.86 from the Dubai stop of the 2014 series.

She is the sole owner of all IM world records in both short course and long course meter swimming, totaling five altogether.
(Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA)

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Katinka Hosszu knows how to please the crowd

There are not many people who can please this 12,000-person strong Hungarian crowd.

They’ll politely applaud the greats of this week — the Americans Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky, the South African Chad le Clos. But for the most part, the people in the seats are Hungarians. And what they really came for is to see Hungarians on the top of the podium.

After winning the world title in 200-meter individual medley this week, Katinka Hosszu gave the crowd exactly what they came for.

“An opportunity like this, that I can swim in front of the home crowd, is very, very rare,” said Hosszu on a video posted to her YouTube channel.

It was an experience she didn’t take for granted.

Born in Hungary, Hosszu learned to swim from her grandfather when she was just 4. She left Hungary for college, attending the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she was a star. It was there she met her husband Shane Tusup who eventually became her coach.

At the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest — she’s a hometown hero.

That’s because she’s an amazing swimmer. Her accomplishments in the pool have rightfully made her country proud. She holds numerous world titles and last year at the Olympics racked up four medals for the country — three of them gold. She’s a formidable opponent.

“It’s always difficult to swim against Katinka,” said Mireia Belmonte, who won gold for Spain in the 200-meter butterfly this week, repeating her Olympic victory. “It’s even more difficult to do it here with the crowd and everyone cheering her.”

That crowd.

It’s what everyone has been talking about. There are hordes of Hungarian fans — there’s hardly an empty seat during most of the swimming finals.

“What a great honor to be here in this fantastic stadium,” le Clos said earlier in the week. “Probably the best support I’ve ever heard, even though it obviously wasn’t for me.”

That crowd is loud, and they’re cheering for Hosszu.

“It was even a little bit distracting,” Hosszu said on her YouTube channel, “Everyone was cheering and the whole arena was in red, white and green.”

It was emotion that she felt wholeheartedly, and it was a crowd she wanted to win in front of, and for.

“I was almost tearing up after the competition,” she said.

And that was just after the semifinal races.

So Hosszu did what she does best. The Iron Lady, as she’s known, donned her swim cap, put her goggles on, jumped in the pool — and swam. She channeled the enthusiasm of the crowd and her sheer athleticism into a gold-medal victory, accomplishing for the crowd exactly what they were hoping for.

“I guess there is no higher level than this,” said Hosszu after her win. “I have become a world champion in Budapest.”
(By Jolene Latimer)