Hungarian superstar and World Record swimmer Katinka Hosszu has pulled out of the Hungarian National Championships this week after just a single swim, citing the subpar competitive conditions in Györ.
Hosszu was noticeably absent on day 1 of the meet, despite her social media accounts showing that she was in Hungary (she’s not always, as she spans the globe for competition more than any other swimmer in the world). On the meet’s 2nd day on Sunday, Hosszu swam just a single race: the preliminary heats of the 100 backstroke, where she swam a 59.83 that was just half-a-second away from her Hungarian National Record.
For a swimmer who has made a name for swimming insane event schedules with two, three, four, or sometimes almost twice that many events in a day, this was a peculiar sight, but Hosszu explained the decision on her official Facebook page on Monday.
Hosszu said that in “consideration of our long term goals,” and with no proper warm-down pool in Györ, that she would be sitting out the rest of the meet. She says that while the new facility being used for this year’s meet is “amazing,” the warm-down pool was not completed. She also criticized (though with a tone of cooperation) the Hungarian Swimming Association for hosting an 8-day meet, which she says puts a big financial burden on clubs and swimmers’ families.
This morning I swam a 59,89 in the 100 back at the Hungarian Nationals in Györ. I’m really happy with this time, because I was only 5 tents off my National Record. Even though it’s not like me, I won’t be swimming any other races this year at our Nationals. It was a hard decision for us, because I love racing in Hungary in front of the home crowd, but in consideration for our long term goals, this is the smartest move. Unfortunately there is no proper warm down pool, which can lead to serious injuries. I would like to have a very long career and when it comes the time to race in front of the home crowd at the Budapest 2017 World Champs I would like be healthy and in full force to represent Hungary. I know that we, the swimmers are the entertainers of the competitions, but it’s important to ask our opinion on topics alongside the coaches and clubs to be able to compete at our highest level. This year’s Nationals is organized in an amazing new facility but unfortunately the warm down pool was not finished, and the meet is 8 days long, which is very hard financially for the clubs and the families. We need to work together, the Hungarian Swimming Association, the coaches and of course the swimmers, so Hungarian Swimming can keep being one of the Nation’s most successful sports!