FINA World Cup

Katinka Hosszu

Katinka Hosszu wins record 10 golds in 2 days at FINA World Cup

Leave a comment

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu matched her first-day output at the second and final day of the FINA World Cup in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

The world’s best female all-around swimmer won another five events and was runner-up in a sixth, giving her a record 10 gold medals and two silvers at a single FINA World Cup meet, according to SwimVortex.com. FINA World Cups are short-course meets (25-meter pools, as opposed to the Olympic-size 50-meter pools).

On Tuesday, Hosszu won the 400m individual medley, 100m backstroke, 200m butterfly, 400m freestyle, 100m individual medley and finished second to the Netherlands’ Inge Dekker in the 50m butterfly.

She faced competition including Spain’s two-time Olympic medalist Mireia Belmonte, but her biggest threats from the U.S., Australia and China were not in Hong Kong.

Hosszu, the reigning World champion in both individual medleys, is perhaps the closest rival to Katie Ledecky to take home female Swimmer of the Year honors.

Mikaela Shiffrin gets her own street in Vail

Katinka Hosszu wins 5 events in one night at FINA World Cup

Katinka Hosszu
Leave a comment

They call Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu the “Iron Lady” of swimming. She proved why in Hong Kong on Monday.

Hosszu swam in six finals and won five of them — 800m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke — at a FINA World Cup short course (25m pool) meet. Only the Netherlands’ Inge Dekker denied perfection, holding Hosszu to silver in the 50m freestyle.

Hosszu initially entered all 17 events for the two-day meet. She swam seven of eight in Monday’s prelims and dropped the 100m butterfly for Monday’s finals. The meet lacks top U.S. swimmers such as Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin.

Hosszu, 25, swam at her first Olympics in 2004 at age 15. She also made it to Beijing 2008 and London 2012 but hasn’t won an Olympic medal. Yet.

There’s little doubt she is the world’s best female all-around swimmer. Hosszu swept the individual medleys at the 2013 World Championships after China’s Ye Shiwen did so at the 2012 Olympics.

Hosszu is ranked No. 1 in the world this year in the 200m IM and second to Ye in the 400m IM. She also won European Championships medals this year in backstroke, butterfly and freestyle events.

Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky lead Golden Goggles nominees

David Boudia ponders a third diving event leading to 2016

David Boudia
Leave a comment

David Boudia was a spectator for the biggest platform diving final of the year. He considered that a competitive advantage considering the big picture, the 2016 Olympics.

“I was able to be on the outside looking into the competition,” he said. “I saw their strengths, weaknesses. I was evaluating.”

Boudia entered three of four events at the FINA World Cup in Shanghai last week. The one he missed was the platform, his 2012 Olympic gold medal event. Boudia didn’t contest it at the 2013 Winter Nationals, where individual World Cup spots were determined.

Why?

Boudia has said he’s using the “off year” — no Olympics, no World Championships — to experiment with new dives and new events.

So, Boudia spent most of his time in Shanghai climbing three meters above the pool rather than 10. He placed eighth in the 3m springboard, fourth in the synchro springboard with Sam Dorman and third in the synchro platform with Steele Johnson.

He watched the last event Sunday, the men’s platform final, where the Chinese pipeline produced another one-two finish. Yang Jian, 20, scored 543.83 points to defeat veteran Qiu Bo, who had 528.5.

Three years ago, Qiu won the World Championship and became the Olympic favorite. But Boudia knocked him off by 1.8 points in London for the first U.S. Olympic diving gold medal since 2000.

Qiu repeated as World champion with 581 points in Barcelona last year, where Boudia was a distant second with 517.4 in the final (though Boudia beat Qiu in the semis).

Boudia couldn’t have been surprised seeing Qiu and Yang star in Shanghai, given he finished behind one of them at each of his three World Series platform competitions this year.

“They’re on a whole other level than the rest of the world,” Boudia said (Yang can be unrivaled in particular, scoring a record 616.5 points at the London World Series event). “I definitely think [Yang] will probably be the favorite going into Rio. Qiu Bo is right behind him.”

Yet Boudia doesn’t consider himself an underdog. Not with that Olympic gold medal back home in Indiana.

“London [2012] really boosted my confidence and belief that I can contend with these Chinese guys,” he said. “Diving is a world where consistency is the name of the game. Any given day a guy can miss a dive just like that, and they’re out of it totally.”

Boudia finished his season in Shanghai, and he’s left with thoughts as he takes a break for the birth of his daughter. What events does he want to try to qualify for his third Olympics in 2016?

He wants three — individual platform, synchro platform and either individual springboard or synchro springboard. He flew to Shanghai leaning toward the synchro springboard, but that eighth-place finish in the individual springboard was encouraging for Boudia, who won the Winter Nationals title in the event.

He sees room for improvement without much separation from the medal contenders.

“Going into the last round here in the World Cup, I was maybe four or five points out of third place … and I didn’t have the hardest dives,” Boudia said.

No U.S. diver has qualified for both individual Olympic events since Mark Ruiz in 2000. Before that, the last to do it was Greg Louganis, who swept the platform and springboard golds in 1984 and 1988. Nobody has won Olympic medals in both events since Russian Dmitry Sautin in 2000.

Boudia’s added event is just one of the changes for USA Diving since it won four medals in London. Five of the six women on the Olympic Team have retired, with synchro springboard silver medalist Abby Johnston the outlier.

Boudia’s Olympic synchro platform bronze medal teammate, Nick McCrory, competed internationally for the first time since the Olympics in Shanghai. Like Boudia, he focused on the springboard, finishing 12th.

It appears they won’t dive together in synchro platform leading into Rio, since Boudia has a new synchro platform partner in the 18-year-old Johnson.

90-plus-year-old men set 3 world relay records at USATF Masters