Katinka Hosszu 400 IM World Championship Win – Post Race Interview

Swimswam coverage of women’s 400 IM at the 2013 FINA World Championships reported by Jeff Grace: 

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu has been a racing machine all year, preparing herself for the challenges that she knew she would face at the World Championships in Barcelona. The change in preparation has worked as Hosszu came away with a victory in the 200 IM on the second day of the competition and had more than enough gas left in the tank to win the 400 IM on the final day.

Just as she did in the 200 IM Hosszu lead the race from start to finish winning the event in a time of 4:30.41. Her time is a lifetime best by over two seconds improving her time of 4:32.83 from 2012.

At the world short course championships in Istanbul in December the Hungarian was defeated by bothHannah Miley of Great Britain and Ye Shiwen of China, today she got her revenge as neither woman present the slightest of challenges.

After winning a bronze in the 200 IM Mireia Belmonte Garcia continued to achieve success on home soil edging out American Elizabeth Beisel for the silver.

Going into the final 100 meters Beisel had just over a half second lead over Belmonte Garcia, but the Spaniard was able to overtake the American in the final 100 meters taking the silver in a time of 4:31.21.

Beisel the reigning world champion in the event finished third in a time of 4:31.69. Beisel, who has appeared to battling injuries at times in the season had a bit of a down year by her standards, but was able to make significant improvements between US Trials and Barcelona, something she was able to do in 2011 as well.

Beisel’s American teammate Mya Dirado finished fourth in a time of 4:32.70. Dirado posted a lifetime best to win the US Trials in a time of 4:34.34, dropping three seconds from her previous best of 4:37.88.

Hannah Miley of Great Britain who has looked great since the Olympics winning the world short course championships and coming into Barcelona with the world’s top time finished fifth in a time of 4:34.16.

Hungarian Zsuzsanna Jakabos finished sixth in a time of 4:34.50.

In an absolutely shocking result Olympic champion Ye Shiwen finished seventh in a time of 4:38.51 followed by Miyu Otsuka of Japan who finished eighth in a time of 4:39.21.

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Congratulations to iron lady. However, she is not going to back away but we’re going to see her at the World Cup in three days with a huge schedule of course.

While listening Katinka’s views on her race plan I realised how stupidly Shiwen executed her world record swim in 400IM. If Shiwen had pushed herself more over first three hundred meters, she would have been probably both faster and free of endless accusations of being too fast in a freestyle leg.


It always makes me laugh when people accuse somebody of “stupid” strategy for a World Record performance. Fastest in History. Perhaps you should earn a few World Records yourself before you criticize World Record performances?


+1 Jay.


My point was not to criticize Shiwen. I try again with only one sentence, I mean that you remember to read until the end:

Shiwen would probably be happier and more motivated swimmer at the moment if she had distributed her strength differently over her fantastic world record performance as it would probably saved her from those accusations of being too fast over the freestyle leg.

I never criticize swimmers. I have nothing against anyone etc. No matter where they come from, who they are etc etc. However, I hate double standards.


And a small correction before someone points it out. Of course I may disagree with (criticize) swimmers’ choices like swimming too many events which threatens their chances for success but I never mean anything bad for anyone. For example, I agree with many that Hagino swam too many events but, on the other hand, he probably liked and wanted it.


What is up with Ye Shiwen? Her poor performance here should be under greater scrutiny than her performance at the Olympics. Any unannounced illnesses or injuries? Heck, pregnancies? Any major interruptions to her training? I don’t know how you could chalk up her swim to just nerves or stress when you consider her (previous) calibre.


Hosszu also had huge ups and downs.

Don’t suspect doping, there is none.

Jim C

Setting aside the question of whether there was doping, Ye Shiwen swam a smart race in London. In the Asian Games 2010, her final 100 free was 13.20% faster than the first 300, while in the 2011 Worlds it was 13.28% faster. If she planned to swim 13.24% faster in London that would have given her 3min30.41sec and an easy win over Beisel’s 4min31.27sec. She probably could have swum a bit faster with a quicker early pace, but what she did was a safer way to win.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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