SwimSwam Pulse: 55% Favor Ledecky Over Hosszu Through 2 Days

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers to pick the best female swimmer through the first two days of competition in Rio:


Question: best women’s swimmer through 2 days:

More than half of voters picked Katie Ledecky as the early female swimmer of the meet choice.

Through 2 days of competition, Ledecky had one gold and one silver medal, having won the 400 free in an amazing new world record and having swum two clutch legs on the American 4×100 free relay.

Ledecky would go on to win a hotly-contested 200 free on day 4, plus the 4×200 free relay on day 5. She now has three golds and a silver with one world record and one individual event remaining (the 800 free, which could yield another WR and gold medal).

Hosszu pulled 40% of the vote, coming off of her insane 400 IM world record. Through two days, she had also swum through semifinals of the 100 back, qualifying 2nd. She would go on to win the event on day 3.

Hosszu also won the 200 IM later in the meet and now leads all women with 3 individual golds. She still has the 200 backstroke coming.

For as dominant as Sjostrom was in the 100 fly, she only earned 4.7% of the early votes. She set a new world record in crushing the field in that event, and has followed it up with a silver medal in the 200 free. She’ll swim for a 100 free medal tonight and could fight for another in the medley relay on day 8.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters who Team USA should have used on its 4×200 free relay in the medal final:

Who should the U.S. have used on the men's 4x200 free relay?

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5 years ago

When it comes to the actual award, wouldn’t Hosszu automatically get it on points if she wins a fourth individual gold (4 to 3 for Ledecky)? If they are both tied at 3, it might come down to world records, in which case the 800 for Ledecky might be the tipping factor. Interesting to think about–Seebohm, etc being off form opened the door to Hosszu winning more events than many anticipated and with a fourth gold, Hosszu would likely win FINA Swimmer of the Year again. The previous two years, she seems like she won because she succeeded in short course meters and more FINA events, and Katie only participated in long course meters. This year, Hosszu would flat out… Read more »

5 years ago

Interesting way to think about it would be to compare to U.S Men’s Olympic Trials cuts. Which women qualifies by the largest margin? That would go to Ledecky in the 400 (Q by 2 secs) compared to Katinka’s time in the 400 IM (Q by 1 sec)

Reply to  YoungFish11
5 years ago

Also the 1500, even though not an Olympic event for women, she has the cut by 22 seconds

Reply to  YoungFish11
5 years ago

The Trials cuts are based on the distribution of mens results, so they’re not really good comparisons. For instance, we have a lot of guys who are under 50, so the trials cut is 50.69, which is A LOT faster than C1’s record (2.6% over). But that doesn’t in of itself mean that C1’s record is worse than Ledecky’s (0.9% under the OT cut) or Hosszu’s (0.4% under).

5 years ago

I think at this point, we are assuming that they both win their remaining event. I think those are safe bets, but perhaps we should wait for those to happen. Ledecky will likely have 3 individual golds (200 was close, 400 was a landslide, most are expecting a landslide), 1 relay gold (her performance was likely the difference between gold and silver, maybe bronze), and 1 relay silver (USA probably still wins silver with her replacement, maybe slips to bronze). I think the “difference maker” aspect on the 4×200 is worth noting, because it wasn’t like “fill this spot and you’ll win gold.”

Hosszu will likely have 4 individual golds and no relay medals. Her 400 IM win was… Read more »

Reply to  Dan
5 years ago

I think for swimmer of the meet, only individual medals are factored in?

Reply to  Dan
5 years ago

DAN …Do you know what told her that famous “best coach” after the disappointing London olympics?
He said don’t worry darling OPEN A BEAUTY SHOP in budapest. Well she was apparently not interested about beauty shops.

That famous american coach did not cared about her he cared more his american trainers. (that is just how it is you can argue that it is understandable and yes Katinka that time was not the same athlete as today)

Anyway the new coach and husband (also american) they are really together it would not be possible without Shane and we know that in Hungary and we respect Shane as much as we respect Katinka. You can even say that her medals are… Read more »

5 years ago

Ledecky beat Sjostrom individually, as well as on the 200 relay split. Ledecky’s 200 relay split was a full 2 seconds faster than Hosszu. With her blazing 100 times Ledecky has shown she is now world class at a very wide range of distances, which is almost unheard of in the modern era. She’s clearly the best swimmer on the planet.

Reply to  Bill
5 years ago

Ledecky has more distances she is good at but Hosszu has more strokes…which is better?

Reply to  Rnelly
5 years ago

I think being better at different distances is more impressive, but that doesn’t take anything away from Hosszu’s greatness.

Reply to  Bill
5 years ago

Hosszu has been more impressive, hands down. Not a thing against Katie! She’s clearly as dominant in her own field — freestyle swimming. 4:26 in the I.M. AND the 100 back gold?! A bit tough to believe, unless we had seen it. It’s almost Phelpsian (Phelpsesque?). Being American and a tremendous fan of Missy’s, I only hope that Katinka can’t get under 2:04 to break the WR tomorrow night. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a couple of tenths one way or the other. I’d LOVE to vote Ledecky, but I can’t do it. Not a chance. The Iron Lady’s 400 I.M. took my breath right out of me.

Reply to  Bill
5 years ago

“Ledecky’s 200 relay split was a full 2 seconds faster than Hosszu.”
So what? She is the better free swimmer, yes. But Hosszu is better in every other stroke.
Hosszu would beat Ledecky in 400IM or 200 back by 10 seconds, but what does this kind of argument prove?

The relay win is also not so significant: why should one favor Ledecky over Hosszu for the quality of her teammates?

I think that 4 individual gold + that insane WR is better than Ledecky’s (very impressive!) freestyle dominance.

Reply to  Bill
5 years ago

If Ledecky swam against Hosszu in the backstroker or IMs, Ledecky would get crushed.

Ledecky is the best freestyler, Hosszu is the most versatile among the strokes (there’s a good chance Hosszu would have won the 200 fly if it fit into her schedule). Both it’s somewhat ignorant to say Ledecky is better because of her range and that she beat Hosszu head to head. Remember, Hosszu is about to win 4 individual golds, Ledecky is about to win 3.

I’m an American, and root for Americans, but the bias towards Americans on this site overwhelming.

Is there an an award for swimmer of the meet? Who even cares? Ledecky will be happy with her meet; Hosszu… Read more »

Zika Ziki
Reply to  Bill
5 years ago

We are not talking about best swimmer of the planet, we are talking about the swimmer of the meet.

5 years ago

Bill being better at more strokes is more impressive unless u are saying ledecky is more impressive than Phelps,s who,s a multi stroke genius. Hosszu sucks in breaststroke though, just like Phelps although Phelps isn’t too bad. I think he has a 2:11/2:12 in the 200 breast.

Reply to  carlo
5 years ago

her breaststroke split 1:16
she is able to swim 1:07 100m breast

Jim C
Reply to  carlo
5 years ago

Based upon just one stroke and one race, I would have said Lilly King was more impressive than Hosszu if she had been able to swim a winning time faster than Adam Peaty. Being better at more strokes is only one factor to consider. As far as a comparison to Phelps is concerned. if Phelps is Ledecky, who is Ryan Lochte? Adlington? Friis? Smith? Carlin? Ashwood? In her area, Ledecky is more dominant than Phelps is in his.

Jim C
5 years ago

How is 2 seconds faster than anyone else in textile insane for Hosszu, but 4 seconds faster for Ledecky merely amazing? The only way you can even consider Hosszu’s record comparable to Ledecky”s is if you throw out Ye Shiwen’s mark. If you do that you find both show roughly a 2.3% improvementon the pre-shiny suit marks and roughly a 1.1% improvement on the shinky suit mark.

Ledecky’s time was 6.73% more than the men’s winner while Hosszu was 8,25% over the men’s winner. So Ledecky is closer to the men than Hosszu.

Zika Ziki
5 years ago

When Hosszu wins her fourth individual gold in 200 backstroke (oh you and I know she’ll win it), the award of the female swimmer of the meet should be hers.

Reply to  Zika Ziki
5 years ago

Oops… I guess you were a bit premature on that prediction, weren’t you?

5 years ago

** = likely

Gold, OR, WR (400 free) – dominant fashion
Gold (200 free) – close
**Gold, OR, likely WR (800 free) – dominant fashion

Gold, OR, WR (400 IM) – dominant fashion
Gold (100 back) – close
Gold, OR (200 IM) – close
**Gold, no OR or WR (200 back) – probably not as close as the IM or 100 back, but not as dominant as the 400 IM

If everything pans out as expected, Ledecky will have three individual golds with two WRs/ORs. Hosszu will have four individual golds with one WR and one OR, so more WRs for Katie but more golds for Katinka. Their respective 400s… Read more »

Attila the Hunt
Reply to  100free
5 years ago

Using Kazan’s calculation for swimmer of the meet, Hosszu’s 4 golds and 1 WR will beat Ledecky’s 3 golds and 1 WR (with possible another one).

In Kazan, Adam Peaty won 2 golds with 1 WR losing to Sun Yang’s 2 golds and 1 silver without WR.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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