Going To Glasgow: Katinka, Katinka, and Katinka Are the Women’s IM Favorites

2019 LEN EUROPEAN SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Wednesday, December 4th – Sunday, December 8th
  • Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Glasgow, Scotland
  • SCM
  • Entry List

The 2019 European Short Course Championships begin on Wednesday of this week, which means all eyes will be on Glasgow just 2 days from now when some of the world’s best athletes descend upon the storied Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Among them will be Hungarian powerhouse Katinka Hosszu who is entered in 5 individual events for the 2019 edition of the meet, one in which the 30-year-old will be opting out of the backstroke discipline entirely. Instead, the Iron Lady will be going all-in in the individual medleys, as well as the fly events, the former of which, history tells us, are her races to lose.

WOMEN’S 100 IM

The reigning Short Course World and European Champion in this sprint IM, Hosszu holds more than a one-second advantage over the 2nd seeded swimmer, Mariia Kameneva of Russia entering Glasgow. Hosszu’s time of 57.05 represents the only mark under the 58-second threshold, with Kameneva next in line in 58.14.

The remaining women comprising the top 11 entries all carry times under the minute barrier, with just half a second separating seeds #5-#11. This means that the charge to the wall could be anybody’s race when all is said and done.

Britain’s Olympic silver medalist in the 200m IM in Rio, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, is one of the more seasoned competitors taking on this 100m IM. The former Bath-turned-Loughborough swimmer owns the British national record in this event with the 57.59 logged at the 2015 edition of these Short Course European Championships. There in Netanya, O’Connor finished with the silver behind Hosszu in both the 100m and 200m IM.

O’Connor’s 58.35 entry time here was produced at the FINA World Cup stop in Tokyo back in 2018. She more recently competed at the International Swimming League (ISL) Derby in London as a member of the host city’s Roar squad. The versatile athlete raced the breaststroke events, but also the 200m IM, where the 24-year-old notched a 4th place effort of 2:08.01.

Also in the 100m IM medal mix here in Glasgow will be Finnish Olympian Jenna Laukkanen, who came in 7th place 2 years ago in Copenhagen. She enters Glasgow as the 4th-seeded swimmer with a time of 59.46.

Hosszu’s countrymate Zsuzsanna Jakabos has produced some solid times while competing on the FINA World Cup circuit and may make a surprise run in this speedy event.

Predicted Top 3 Finishers in Women’s 100m IM

  1. Katinka Hosszu, HUN
  2. Mariia Kameneva, RUS
  3. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, GBR

WOMEN’S 200 IM

Once again, Hungary’s Hosszu holds a monster advantage over the remaining competitors in terms of seed times, carrying a wicked-fast mark of 2:03.25, which is what she put up for 200m IM gold at the 2018 Short Course World Championships.

Hosszu has been competing non-stop this season both as a member of Team Iron, as well as on the FINA World Cup circuit, so the woman is right in her element with this competition kicking off just days from now.

Italy’s Ilaria Cusinato began this season trained by Hosszu’s former husband and coach, Shane Tusup, but the pair split ways just months after their collaboration started. Now coached by Morena Daga in Padova, Cusinato is entered in both the 200m and 400m IM events, ranked as the 2nd-seeded swimmer in each.

However, with her coaching changes, it’s unknown where the Italian is at in her training, what her fitness level is and how seriously she is treating these Championships.

O’Connor lurks in this 200m IM as the 3rd seed with an entry time of 2:07.65, a mark she logged at that same 2018 World Cup meet in Tokyo. She owns a personal best of 2:05.13 from Netanya in 2015 and, in addition to the aforementioned ISL swim, most recently produced an effort of 2:08.42 in early November while competing at the Midlands Championships.

A budding star out of Israel may be able to get her hand on the wall for a minor medal, as 16-year-old Anastasia Gorbenko enters the meet as the 5th seed. Her entry time of 2:08.01 is slower than the 2:07.64 national record the teen just produced while competing for LA Current in Budapest last month. That ranks her above both O’Connor and Jakabos on the entry times.

Predicted Top 3 Finishers in Women’s 200 IM

  1. Katinka Hosszu, HUN
  2. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, GBR
  3. Anastasia Gorbenko, ISR

WOMEN’S 400 IM

Hosszu is far and away the favorite in this 400m IM event, with the reigning Olympic champion owning a seed time of 4:21.40 from her victory at the 2018 Short Course World Championships. Barring a disqualification or sickness, the race is on for silver and bronze behind Hosszu, with Cusinato, Jakabos and more in the mix.

Were it not for the rules limiting each country to 2 swimmers in the 2nd round of competition (in this case, finals), this event would have a “1-2-3 sweep” potential for the Hungarians, as Boglarka Kapas comes in as the 4th seed. Expect the Hungarians to go all-out in prelims as there’s no room to coast in this trio.

Russia’s Irina Krivonogova is then positioned less than half a second behind.

For Kapas, the 800m free bronze medalist from Rio recently posted her 4:34.54 entry time in London as a member of Team Iron. That November swim was less than a second off of her lifetime best of 4:33.69 notched in Singapore in 2017.

However, although she hasn’t earned a senior IM medal, Krivonogova is accustomed to producing big swims under pressure. She was a member of Russia’s silver medal-winning 4x200m women’s and mixed freestyle relays at last year’s long course European Championships.

This year, the 19-year-old also got on the podium as a member of the 800m free relay at the World University Games and was a two-time relay silver medalist at the Military World Games. She’ll be hungry for her first senior individual medal.

Predicted Top 3 Finishers in Women’s 400 IM

  1. Katinka Hosszu, HUN
  2. Zsuzsanna Jakabos, HUN
  3. Irina Krivonogova, HUN

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Octopus

Correction: Kapás is one of the few non-Iron Hungarians, she swam in London Roar

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