SWC 2014, Day 1: Hosszu festival starts in Doha (QAT)

Swimming World Cup

The “Iron Lady” is ready to shine in the 2014 edition of the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup. In the first day of the inaugural leg of the series in Doha (QAT), Katinka Hosszu (HUN) was the athlete in evidence, establishing a World Record and two World Cup records, and getting four gold medals. The world best mark was set in the women’s 200m individual medley, when she touched home in 2:02.61, bettering her own record of 2:03.20, obtained also in the first meet of the 2013 circuit in Eindhoven (NED).

In a very successful evening, the Magyar star, winner of last year’s series, also swam for the bronze in the 800m free, got the gold in the 50m backstroke, the 200m backstroke and the 200m free. In the latter, she improved on two occasions the best mark of the competition: in the morning heats, she clocked 1:51.84, while the afternoon victory was sealed with a 1:51.41 effort. Hosszu was constantly under the World Record (1:51.17, from Italy’s Federica Pellegrini, from 2009) pace, but could not swim so fast until the final touch.

The tireless Katinka Hosszu - Photo credit: G. Scala/Deepbluemedia

“My goal was to break the World Record in the 200m backstroke [she won in a time of 2:01.60, against the 2:00.03 effort of US Missy Franklin in 2011], but at the end of the day I am naturally excited with this 200m IM best mark”, declared Hosszu, surely one of the most polyvalent swimmers in the women’s field. “I did not think that I was going so fast, but it was my own record, so I went for it!” continued the 25-year-old Magyar.

“I really love this competition. People keep me asking when I am going on vacation, but this is my vacation and I’m already looking forward to the next one”, concluded Hosszu.

Her teammate Daniel Gyurta was also close to the World Record in the men’s 200m breaststroke (which he holds, with a 2:00.67 effort since 2009), but arrived a bit too late, stopping the watch at 2:01.06, a new World Cup record (he also had this previous mark, a 2:01.30 performance from last year in Tokyo).

Daniel Gyurta (HUN) - Photo credit: G. Scala/Deepbluemedia

Chad Le Clos, from South Africa, and winner of the 2013 World Cup, got two triumphs in this first day in Doha, imposing his supremacy in the men’s 100m free (46.29) and 50m butterfly (22.17).

On the longer distance, Le Clos was especially happy: “It’s a personal best and a new South African record. This is an ideal preparation for the World Championships in Doha next December, so everybody is very excited to be here”, he noted.

The South African did not enter in one of his pet events, the 200m butterfly (he is the WR holder with 1:48.56), won by U.S. Tom Shields in a fast time of 1:50.08.

Other highlights of the day include the victory of Spanish star Mireia Belmonte in the women’s 800m free (she was the first winner of the day, in a time of 8:14.99), the double successful effort of Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) in the men’s 400m IM (4:00.39) and 400m free (3:39.30), the comfortable win of Alia Atkinson (JAM) in the women’s 100m breaststroke (1:03.79), and the two gold medals for Inge Dekker (NED) in the women’s 100m butterfly (56.05) and 50m free (24.04).

Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) - Photo credit: G. Scala/Deepbluemedia

The best performers of the day were naturally Hosszu in the women’s field, with her WR scoring 1014 in the FINA Points Table, and Gyurta among men with his World Cup best performance (990 points).