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2016 FEMALE EUROPEAN SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: KATINKA HOSSZU
This summer, the swimming world saw a whole different Katinka Hosszu than the one we watched in 2012. Hosszu left the London Olympics riddled with disappointment, having finished 4th in the 400 IM, 8th in the 200 IM, and 9th in the 200 fly. Since then, we’ve seen her develop into the Iron Lady, taking on monster schedules at several meets.
The 2016 Rio Olympics were the culmination of her redemption. In Hosszu’s first finals swim of the meet, she shattered the 400 IM World Record, making the first Olympic medal of her career a gold one. But Hosszu didn’t stop there. She also went on to win gold in the 100 back and 200 IM. She nearly went 4 for 4, but wound up taking silver in a close 2nd to Maya DiRado in the 200 back. Hosszu also made a relay appearance, helping Hungary earn a spot in the final of the women’s 4×200 free relay. They wound up finishing 6th with Hosszu as their anchor.
Hosszu’s dominance continued into the short course season, as she won her 6th straight World Cup title at the 2016 FINA World Cup Series. Throughout the series, Hosszu reeled in a total of 105 medals, 73 of which were gold. Her earnings added up to $386,750, and she was the only swimmer to score more than 1,000 total points.
The Iron Lady followed that up with a winning performance at the 2016 FINA Short Course World Championships. There, she won 7 golds for her country.
In no particular order
- Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden: Sjostrom was a 3-time medalist at the 2016 Olympics. With her performance in the 100 fly, she became the first Swedish woman to win swimming gold, setting a new World Record in the process. She nearly picked up another gold in the 200 free, taking silver after coming up just short behind Katie Ledecky. In another nailbiter finish, she earned her 3rd medal with a bronze in the 100 free.
- Mireia Belmonte Garcia, Spain: Garcia was the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 fly after making a back-half surge to run down Australia’s Madeline Groves. She also walked away from Rio with a bronze medal from the 400 IM and a new Spanish Record in the 800 free.