Katinka Hosszu Becomes First Non-Skins Winner to Earn ISL MVP


  • Group B, Match 2
  • Saturday, October 26 – Saturday, October 27, 2019
  • 6:00-8:00 PM Local Time – UTC+2 (12:00-2:00 PM, U.S. Eastern Time)
  • Duna Arena, Budapest, Hungary
  • Short Course Meters (SCM) format
  • ESPN3 Live Stream Links:
  • Group B: Iron, LA Current, London Roar, New York Breakers
  • Start Lists (pre-meet)
  • Full day 1 results
  • Full day 2 results

In front of a home crowd, Hungarian native Katinka Hosszu was crowned the ISL meet MVP in Budapest after seven well-fought swims. The Iron team captain is now the first swimmer to win the honor without aid from skins points – in each of the 3 previous meets, one of the 2 skins event winners has been crowned MVP (Indy – Sarah Sjostrom; Naples – Caeleb Dressel; Lewisville – Vlad Morozov). Skins races are worth more points than regular races – triple in the team standings, though that number is divided by 2 for MVP calculations (so the winner of each skins event receives 13.5 points for their efforts versus the regular 9). That, combined with a lot of relay opportunities for top sprinters, has given them the advantage in MVP battles so far.

Top 5 MVP Rankings- ISL Budapest

  1. Katinka Hosszu (IRO)- 47 points
  2. Kyle Chalmers (LON)- 41.50 points
  3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (IRO)- 40.50 points
  4. Emma McKeon (LON)- 39.50 points
  5. Vlad Morozov (IRO)- 38 points

Diving into Hosszu versus the other three MVPs, she currently ranks third behind Sarah Sjostrom and Caeleb Dressel.

Top MVP Swimmers (as of Match 4)

  1. Caeleb Dressel (CAC)- 57.50 points (Naples)
  2. Sarah Sjostrom (ENS)- 54 points (Indy)
  3. Katinka Hosszu (IRO)- 47 points (Budapest)
  4. Vlad Morozov (IRO)- 43.50 points (Lewisville)

However, it is important to note the advantage the other three swimmers had with their skins event wins. If a swimmer wins the skins event, 27 points gets awarded to the team total. However, half of those points (13.5 pts) gets awarded to the individual alone towards MVP rankings. Therefore, if we treat the skins win as a 9-point award rather the 13.5-point bonus award, we see that Hosszu’s total was just 1.5 points behind Sjostrom’s Indy performance.

MVP Rankings Without Skins-Aid

  1. Caeleb Dressel (CAC)- 53 points (Naples)
  2. Sarah Sjostrom (ENS)- 49.50 points (Indy)
  3. Katinka Hosszu (IRO)- 47 points (Budapest)
  4. Vlad Morozov (IRO)- 39 points (Lewisville)

Hosszu overcame the skins-advantage by successfully swimming a 7-event schedule. What’s more, 6 of those 7 events were individual races. While relays count toward MVP scoring, athletes get the relay’s total points divided by 4. That means a swimmer even on a winning relay only gets 4.5 points, so there is an advantage in this format to athletes who swim more individual events.

Hosszu swam one more event on day two in Budapest than she did on day 2 in Lewisville with the addition of the 100 back to her schedule. She also swam the 200 free rather than the 50 back on day 1, which meant a lot more total yards raced in Budapest than a week earlier. This benefited her points-wise, though, as she finished 3rd place in the 200 free rather her 6th-place finish in the 50 back last week.

ISL Budapest ISL Lewisville
Event Finish Event Finish
400 IM 1st (9 pts) 400 IM 1st (9 pts)
200 Back 2nd (7 pts) 200 Back 3rd (6 pts)
200 Free 3rd (6 pts) 50 Back 6th (3 pts)
400 Medley Relay 5th (2 pts) 400 Medley Relay 3rd (3 pts)
200 IM 1st (9 pts) 200 IM 1st (9 pts)
100 BK 4th (5 pts) 200 Fly 1st (9 pts)
200 FL 1st (9 pts) 39 total pts (3rd)
47 total pts (MVP)

Everyone knew that Hosszu would be unstoppable in the IM races, giving her a near-automatic 18 points to her name. The race between her and LA Current’s Katie McLaughlin in the finishing stretch of the 200 fly gave Hosszu a crucial 9 points late in the meet.

While the Iron Lady went from 3rd to 5th in the 400 medley relay, it was only a one-point deficit as the points are split four-ways to each relay member. Similarly, she also had a slim one-point improvement in the 200 back going from 3rd to 2nd.

Ultimately, the decision to put Hosszu in the 200 free and 100 back over the 50 back is what gave her the edge over her other competitors and helped her demonstrate that the MVP honors aren’t exclusively for sprinters.

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Bongresswoman Katie Hill

Way to go, Iron Lady!


Look at the quality of Hosszu’s wins:
400IM – 4:27.27.
Compare it to the result of 400IM SCM specialist Katie Ledecky’s 4:27.18 or to the best result of last season – 4:21.40

200IM – 2:05.11
The best result from last season – 2:03.25

200fly – 2:05.37
The best result from last season – 2:01.60

And see, I don’t measure these results of her against world standards.

If this is the quality of swimming by MVP then what can be said about other swimmers in this exciting competition.
Minna is the only ray of sunshine in this darkness.


fact – not all meets are rested meet, so not all winning times in season are season best times.
also fact – swimming meets, especially team race, can be exciting without every winner swam (world) best time.

Do you follow any NCAA conference meet? Most top NCAA swimmers don’t fully rested for conference meet but that didn’t make those meets any less exciting. All swimmers in a team has to step up for conference title.


Do you know what the word “professional” means? When you call a professional to do some job for you, you expect the quality first of all. If this league calls itself a professional one then it should provide something better than in-season under hard training results. Many of these swimmers are trying to sit by one ass on two charges at the same time. They still consider FINA the major events of the season but don’t object at all to get some money from ISL without special preparation for it. It’s very professional. Oh, yeah.


* chairs


Have a chair please and reflect

Ol' Longhorn

Ever watch the NBA?


Not a big fan of NBA management and I’m sure they performed well in China playing preseason games.


plenty of other professional sports for you to get Nxious about. This one is exciting for majority of people and you are comparing exactly what they don’t…. time over points. If you can’t wrap your head around that you may want to medicate and relax a little because this ISL is all about points


How many season bests and WRs happen outside of big meets in track, cycling, triathlons, speed skating, etc…all sports with well established professional circuits based on racing not times? Some meets can be about times. Some can put together exciting races. Both things can happen. An insistanece that it has to be times only is what will leave swimming stuck in the past. It’s fine if you don’t find it exciting, but when every other professional individual based sport I can think of bases its professional circuits on racing over times, it seems the ISL is a much needed shift for swimming.


You’ve too much time to spend hating Hosszu 🙂


You have unconditional love of her for one reason only – you are Hungarian. It’s perfectly fine with me. But I am not a Hungarian and I love numbers. They don’t lie. I don’t hate Hosszu. I really don’t care about her. But I don’t like to be pushed to admire something that definitely doesn’t deserve it. Look at the title of this article: “the first-non-skin-mvp”. The only thing that can be taken from that is that design of the competition in this league is far away from to be called professional. The privileged are either sprinters that have definite advantage by design to earn more than other swimmers or it could be a swimmer who swims a lot of… Read more »


There’re are non-lying numbers in the other article (Barry’s comment).


So far in the ISL there have been multiple national records, one world record, one swim that was hundredths off a world record and a bunch of times that give us a much better indicator of where some of these swimmers are at/where they will be in 9 months than a series of times strung together from WC and Pro series races (think Chalmers’ and Dressel’s consistency in the Skins races and what that’s going to mean for their 100 in Tokyo). If you can’t find excitement in those things, then swimming might not be the sport for you.


Based on the ratio of up and down-votes I would have to say you are wrong and not liked.


I don’t think these times are comparable. She had a packed 2hrs for each of the two days. That is not how anyone – not even a Katinka Hosszu with her usually full schedule – swims a “normal” meet. And before you go all “but my shiny princess Minna swims almost world record and then an actual world record in the span of 15min” – not to take away from that absolutely incredible swim, but Minna is A LOT younger than Katinka and it was 100m, not 200m or 400m. Besides, “quality” in this event means “winning”. That’s what she’s employed to do for her team. It doesn’t matter whether it’s only .01s faster than 2nd place. She’s not employed… Read more »

Corn Pop

‘ but my shiny princess Minna ‘. Its about time we had a beautiful talented one , not those whiny Euro ( & soon not be to Euro ) things on the celeb circuit . . I’ll give Charlotte a pass as she is only 4.


Minna is clearly very special, nobody is disputing that 🙂

Ol' Longhorn

Now try Dressel when he was MVP. He swam times he could do (or better) LCM. Your obsession with Hosszu is …. troubling. Seek help. Stay away from sharp objects.


Are you comparing season best from a tapered championship meet to hosszu’s October results?


Those bests were made at World cup where swimmers are forced to perform well in at least one race to get paid well.


How does a World Cup « force » swimmers to perform again? Are you citing the prize money…. like ISL maybe?

Coach John

he’s trumping up his own narrative with false facts now…. new low for Yozhik


As already pointed out…those times were from a championship meet, which the ISL hasn’t had yet…if you’re going to compare times, at least compare in season to in season championship to championship


I have bad news for you boy. She will win the 400IM in Tokyo 2 or 3 seconds off her meet record. What a boring event it will be.


Typical “Yozhik-bait” article, you guys should be better than this 🙂


We always try it 🙂

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro has had a huge passion for swimming since his first dive in the pool, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing, but still uses the sport as his go-to cardio. SwimSwam has become an outlet for him to continue showing his …

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