Can Katinka Hosszu Break the SCM World Record in the 400 IM?

Former USC Trojan, NCAA Record holder, and Hungarian star Katinka Hosszu may be done with her college eligibility, but with expected full participation in this year’s FINA World Cup Series is far from out of the spotlight.

The 2009 World Champion in the 400 IM is finally able to cash in on her short course exploits, and given her versatility and the relative lack of competition in distance races (as compared to sprints) at the World Cup, has to be the early favorite to take home the women’s series title and $100,000 bonus prize that goes with it; She should make half-that-again in individual race prizes by the time the series is over as well.

But here’s a bigger question: can she cash in on the $10,000 bonus for a World Record in the series?

Here’s what we know: Hosszu is far-and-away the best 400 IM’er in history in yards. She destroyedJulia Smit’srecord last year by almost two seconds with her yards time of 3:56.54. Here’s what’s really interesting though: Smit set the World Record in this 400 IM at 4:21.04 in December of the same short course season where she went on to set her NCAA Record (2009-2010).

The mitigating factor is “the suit”. Smit set the World Record at the Duel in the Pool, which is dubiously honored as the last major meet where full-body polyurethane suits were allowed.

Still, even back in textile at that year’s Pac 12 Championships, she blew by where anybody else had ever been. Her 3:58-low was the first time any woman had been under four minutes in the race, and even then, the old record belonged to her.

But now Hosszu, in yards, has blown by Smit. Is that yards cushion enough for the Hungarian to push by the World Record? The problem is that the World Cup format is a challenge for recor breaking, with so many races crammed into such a short span. In Dubai, the 400 IM won’t come until the 2nd day, though it is her first event on Wednesday. Based on the 2:10.5 she swam in the 200 IM in Dubai, it won’t be coming at this first meet.

Still, this is a record watch that one would imagine has to be on for this year. Perhaps the conquest would best come at December’s World Championships in Istanbul anyway, and perhaps there it’s best for maximum exposure (the financial windfall of a World Record at the World Championships would likely exceed $10,000 anyway – especially as it would build hype toward Worlds next year).

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She may swim many events, and therefore make a lot of money.

But the overall winner is awarded by “best performance” as per FINA points – and Alshammar is the Queen of fast swims.

I hope Hosszu breaks the WR – and score high on the circuit: that would be great for the Word Cup Series.

I think there are other records that might’ll be interesting to watch.

Also, the mixed-relay is great to watch!

bobo gigi

We know a young chinese swimmer able to destroy it.
About Katinka Hosszu, she needs to be pushed by another swimmer to do it and I don’t know which girl can help her in the next meets. The best american girls are in NCAA. But on the pure potential yes she can do it.

Philip Johnson

besides the Olympics, World Championships, & domestic meets, it is generally rare for Chinese swimmers to swim in events outside their country.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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