2013 FINA World Championships Day 8 Preview: Can Hosszu Defy History in 400 IM?

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 10

August 04th, 2013 News

Sunday at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain will be all finals, all-the-time, as 8 sets of medals will be handed out.

Men’s 50 backstroke FINAL
Women’s 50 breaststroke FINAL
Men’s 400 IM FINAL
Women’s 50 free FINAL
Men’s 1500 free FINAL
Women’s 400 IM FINAL
Men’s 400 medley relay FINAL
Women’s 400 medley relay FINAL

A final reminder of all the links you need to follow the World Championships.

All of the buzz is surrounding whether or not Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu has a chance at Ye Shiwen’s World Record in the 400 IM (which, incidentally, with what we’ve seen, Ye Shiwen does not have much of a shot at).

After winning the 200 IM on day 2 of this meet, it would have been an unequivocal ‘yes’. As the meet wares on, though, the fatigue factor has to be considered. Only four women have ever broken the World Record in the 400 IM at the World Championships, probably due largely to its placement at the end of the meet. World Records in this race are much more common at the Olympics, where it comes early, or at sort of off-kilter meets like trials, or even once in Ecuador in the early 80’s.

Out of those three women, one, German’s Gudrun Wegner, did so before it was moved to the end of the meet. Katie Hoff is the best example, as she came in with a lot of swims (200 IM, 200 free, 400 free, 800 free relay) under her belt before breaking the World Record, and that’s perhaps where the confidence in Hosszu lies. Hoff in 2007 was ‘feeling it.’ She was in as good-of-shape as we thought we had ever seen for a female swimmer, and all signs were pointing toward her 400 IM as THE race. And THE race it was.

Hosszu has done this tough schedule before, and done it well. In 2009, she was the World Champion in the women’s 400 IM, though even now without a polyurethane suit, she’d need to beat that time by two seconds to take the World Record. She hasn’t looked quite as good since winning that 200 IM, though she’s certainly done enough to stamp her legacy on this World Championship meet.

(For those interested, American Tracy Caulkins in 1978 was the other swimmer to break the WR at the end of a World Championships, and Germany’s Petra Schneider did so in 1982 as well.).


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What’s up with Yi Shewen? Something other than an accusation of doping would be nice


Most likely due to inconsistent training.

Shiwen is lucky she still got to worlds and swam 2:09 in the 200 IM final, only 2 seconds slower than her London’s winning time. Other Olympics champions didn’t make it altogether to BCN, such as Allison Schmitt, after such domination in 200 free London, was only 1:59 in the trials, 6 seconds outside her best.

Other olympic champions have also not been so hot either here: Muffat, Clary, even Agnel.

Lane Four

My guess would be she is burnt out. Her training schedule for the last four years was probably incredible and she just didn’t want to “do it” after London.


Yes, I don’t believe we’re going to see WRs this night; neither in W’s 400IM nor in W’s 50 breast, and definitely not in any Men’s events. My thoughts on a last session (I’m sad it’s the last but it consists of only finals which makes it quite important session): Men’s 50m backstroke: I can’t predict the outcome. Grevers will probably be very relaxed as he won a gold already. In every interview recently he is always screaming those “flags” as he is about to die very soon owing to his training. The 50m is so fast that there is no time to think about flags. The French have some weird problems. Stravius has a wonderful start and underwater but… Read more »

Steve Nolan

Your medley blurb sounds a lot like Mike Cavic circa 2008.

Steve Nolan

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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