Red hot. On fire. Hitting on all cylinders. That is what the 2013 Swammy European Female Swimmer of the Year displayed throughout competition this year. Katinka Hosszu won gold medals this year. She put up some impressive times. She even racked in a nice sum of money and a new sponsorship with Audi. But one thing she did better than the rest was her endurance throughout her busy competition schedule during the 365 days of 2013.
The Iron Lady stayed true to her name throughout the year of 2013. The Hungary native never slowed down or pulled back on the reigns during any of her meets this season. She could’ve easily signed up for less events at Short Course Euros or maybe not have doubled up on certain days at a World Cup meet, but Hosszu refrained. She proved to the world that no matter what meet it was, she’s going to give it her all.
The big news for the summer concerning Hosszu was her dominating double gold performance at World Championships in the 200 and 400 medleys. Even though there were no world records, Hosszu garnered championship records and personal bests while also grabbing a bronze medal in the 200 fly.
Moving into the fall was when Hosszu’s endurance really made an impact. The FINA World Cup is no easy task, swimming in various locations around the globe every month. The number of races alongside the travel can take a hefty toll on the average swimmer; but not Hosszu. Throughout her World Cup extravaganza she claimed 24 gold medals, broke 6 world records, and racked up $192,500.
Her endurance never fell short, even when she signed up for seven individual races at Short Course Euros in December. She was able to win a gold in the 200 medley while swimming to silver in the 100 and 400 (she just missed making the podium in the 100 and 200 fly). She made up for an almost gold-less Euros by entering her next meet and claiming first in the 200 fly and 100 medley at the Salnikov Cup. And to add even more gold to her resume, Hosszu accumulated 15 golds at the Indian Ocean Championships; the exclamation point to an outstanding 2013.
- It was a battle for the breastroke queen of the year. With three swimmers dominating the short axis stroke at the same time, it was hard to pinpoint the best of the best. 2013 was the year of breastroke breakout stars.
- Ruta Meilutyte, only 16 years old, broke the world record in the 50 meter breastroke at World Championships. Even though she fell to Yulia Efimova in the finals, the Lithuianian teenager was able to bounce back and break another world record in the 100; erasing Jessica Hardy’s old mark and swimming to a gold medal in a time of 1:04.35. Then not long after, at the Moscow stop of the World Cup, she was a 1:02.36 in SCM to break Rebecca Soni’s World Record.
- Yulia Efimova had the meet of her life in Barcelona, putting up new Russian national records in all of her events. While dropping to second in the 100 breast, she became a 2x world champion in the 50 and 200 breastroke. She added to her medal count on the season by winning four golds and one silver at European Short Course Championships. After racking in the hardware, she wrote her name back into the record books by eclipsing short course meter records in the 50 and 200 breastroke.
- The last female breastroker to erase Soni’s name from the record books was Denmark’s Rikke Moller-Pedersen. In the semifinals of the 200 breastroke at the World Championships in Barcelona, Moller-Pedersen swam to the record, touching in a 2:19.11.
- Mireia Belmonte-Garcia, maybe the only swimmer who could test Hosszu’s iron-woman status, Belmonte-Garcia continued to take Spanish success in the pool to new heights. In addition to winning the first three long course medals of her career (two silvers and a bronze), she broke the short course meters World Records in the 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyles.