Hungarian superstar Katinka Hosszu has continued her dominance in the pool with another commanding performance in the European championships in Berlin last week, and is expected to again leave her competitors in her wake when the FINA/MASTBANK Swimming World Cup comes to Dubai on Sunday.
Katinka has established herself as the iron lady of world swimming and is in great form, taking three golds in the 200m and 400m individual medley (IM)and 100m backstroke, silver in the 200m freestyle and bronze in the 200m butterfly in Berlin. Her win in the 200m IM was her third successive win in the event, and her time put her at the top of the world rankings for 2014.
The 25 year old Hungarian delighted the crowds and proved herself to be one of the toughest and most exciting competitors ever seen in the pool during last year’s Swimming World Cup. She won an outstanding 32 events over the series, completely dominating the 200m and 400m IM races, and setting 6 new world records. She finished the series an astounding 537 points ahead of her nearest rival to take her second consecutive overall World Cup.
Hosszu is also current world champion in the 200m and 400m IM long course events, and in the 200m butterfly and 100m IM in short course events and shows no sign of easing up on her heavy competition program. Her schedule, the busiest of any of the competitors in the series, often requires her to run from the finish of one race to the marshalling point for the next.
But Hosszu’s climb to the top has not all been easy, and while she is now a regular visitor to the top of the podium she has had her share of ups and downs in her career.
Hosszu first appeared in international competitions in 2004, and competed in her first Olympics in 2004. She took her first world title in the 400m IM at the World Championships in Rome in 2009, but had to wait until 2013 to add to her tally.
Like many who reach the pinnacle of their sport, staying at the top seems to be harder than getting there. After her world title in 2009 she struggled for some time, failing to win medals in the next three major meets, the 2010 short course World Championships in Dubai, the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and the 2012 London Olympics.
The disappointments have shaped her career though, with Hosszu working on her mental strength as well as her physical, and she is now arguably the best individual medley swimmer in the world. She credits these disappointments with teaching her how to be successful.
I think I may have learned just as much, if not more, from the failures of my career than the successes I have had.
Hosszu showed her newfound mental strength to bounce back after the disappointment of the London Olympics to win 3 gold and a silver at the 2012 European Championship, before cutting a swathe through the 2012 Swimming World Cup, taking 39 gold medals over the eight events, and the overall title.
Hosszu then made amends for her performances in the 2010 World Championships(25m) in Dubai, taking two golds, two silvers and a bronze at the short course World Championships in Istanbul in December 2012. Her efforts also won her the title of best female swimmer of the meet.
She finally broke through for another long course world title in 2013 at the World Championships in Barcelona, winning the 200m and 400m IM. She followed that with her impressive performance in the 2013 Swimming World Cup, breaking six world records, and winning the overall title for the second successive year. She now holds the short course world records in all three individual medley distances.
After her incredible feats she has developed a reputation as something of an ironwoman, and as she acknowledges, she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all that she did without her strong mental state.
I feel like the mental aspects of racing are much more important than many people think. I have a ton of first-hand experience in this field. If I was not completely focused and ready mentally for a race, it affected the results more than when I was just physically tired but mentally ready to compete.
2014 is shaping up as another great year, with her successes in Berlin last week setting her up for a tilt at her third Swimming World Cup title when competition commences this week.
We are delighted to be welcoming Katinka Hosszu back to Dubai, she really is amazing to watch and a real inspiration for our young swimmers. She has shown what can be achieved with hard work and determination and we look forward to seeing her in action again next week
said Dr Ahmad Saad Al Sharif, General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council.
The Swimming World Cup is contested in a 25m pool and sees both men and women vying for prize money in each of the 36 events. The overall men’s and women’s series winner also receives US$100,000.
The Dubai competition, which will take place on August 31-September 1, is the second round of the seven-leg highly competitive World Cup series, which will commenced in Doha on 27-28 August. After Dubai the competition will move onto to Hong Kong, then Moscow, Beijing and Tokyo. The final event will be held in Singapore on November 1-2. .
The event will begin at 10am on Sunday 31 August with heats in the morning at 10am, and finals being contested at 5.30pm, with the same schedule on Monday 1 September. The opening ceremony will be held at 5pm on Sunday 31 August.Tickets to the event are available online at platinumlist.net and at the door at the Hamdan Sports Complex, which is located on Emirates Road (E611).