WOMEN’S 200 IM: 2015 FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
- Day 2, Mon August 3rd
- 2013 World Champion: Katinka Hosszu, HUN – 2:07.92 (SEE RACE VIDEO ABOVE)
- 2013 Silver Medalist: Alicia Coutts, AUS – 2:09.39
- 2013 Bronze Medalist: Mireia Belmonte, ESP – 2:09.45
Dominance is one word that can be used when describing Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s performance in this event since the 2012 Olympics. In London she finished eighth, since that point she has owned this event at every major international competition where she has competed.
Hosszu’s versatility has been on display in that time, not only in this event, but it has been shown in her performances in each of the individual strokes as well.
Hosszu has a lifetime best of 2:07.46, which she posted at the 2009 World Championships in Rome where she walked away with the bronze.
Her textile best is a 2:07.92, which she recorded in her win at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.
Over the last three years Hosszu has won the 200 IM at the 2013 World Championships, 2013 European Short Course Championships, 2014 European Swimming Championships and the 2014 World Short Course Championships.
Along with her many victories Hosszu has broken the short course world record in the event four times, with the most recent record standing at a time of 2:02.13.
There is no reason to think that will not stand atop the podium in Kazan.
It is hard to believe that Ye Shiwen of China is only 19 years old. Ye broke onto the international stage at the age of 14 when she took gold at the Asian Games posting a time of 2:09.37. She then went on to win the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympic Games.
Her lifetime best is a 2:07.57 which she recorded in London. Although she has only posted a time of 2:11.46 so far this year the Olympic champion will be a force to reckon with in Kazan.
British Swimming has had a lot to be happy about over the last two years, but none more than the performances of 19 year old Siobhan-Marie O’Connor.
O’Connor has gone from a best time of 2:11.86 entering the 2013 season to a 2:08.21, which she posted at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
O’Connor has not only made impressive improvements in her performance, but by winning the gold at the Commonwealth Games in this event, she has shown that she can win on the international stage.
O’Connor finished eighth in this event in Barcelona and has a season’s best of 2:09.51.
The battle for gold will be between Hosszu, Ye and O’Connor a case can be made for any one of these three women taking the event in Kazan.
18 year old Kanako Watanabe from Japan posted a lifetime best of 2:09.81 at the Japanese National Championships. Watanabe made it to the semi-finals of this event in 2013 and the following year finished second to Ye at the Asian Games setting a new national record time of 2:10.58.
This young swimmer has made steady improvements in this event having a lifetime best of 2:11.50 coming into the 2014 season.
Watanabe does not have the experience winning the top prize in this event, but she has shown the ability to walk away from major international competitions with gold taking the 200 breaststroke at both the 2014 Asian Games and 2014 World Short Course Championships.
American Maya Di Rado had a breakout summer winning the women’s 200 IM at the Pan Pacfic Championships. Di Rado who came into the 2014 season with a lifetime best of 2:12.44 ended the year with a time of 2:09.93.
Di Rado represented the United States at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona finishing fourth in the 400 IM. She also swam the 200 butterfly, but did not get past the semi-final.
She has made great strides in the 200 IM over the past year and coming off of her success at the Pan Pacific Championships Di Rado will have the confidence to continue to improve in Kazan.
The second American in the field is Melanie Margalis. Margalis got her first taste of success at the 2013 World University Championships where she took bronze in the women’s 200 IM. She went on to win the same colour medal in Doha at the 2014 World Short Course Championships.
Margalis has gone from a 2:12.34 in 2013 to a 2:10.26, which she posted earlier this month.
Hannah Miley of Great Britain has had more success on the international stage in the 400 IM throughout her career. She has won the event at the the last two Commonwealth Games as well as competing in the finals at the 2008 Olympics, 2009 World Championshps, 2011 World Championships, 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships.
Last summer Miley added a bronze in the 200 IM in her medal haul in Glasgow.
She has a lifetime best of 2:09.46 which she posted at the 2009 World Championships and she has a textile best of 2:10.74 which she recorded at the Commonwealth Games.
2013 World Championships bronze medalist Mireia Belmonte is usually in the mix for a medal, but the Spaniard is suffering from a shoulder injury, which is bad enough that it has put her participation in Kazan in jeopardy.
Hungarian Zsuzsanna Jakabos has had to deal with shoulder injuries of her own in recent years, but it looks like she is back on track after posting a 2:11.32 earlier this year.
Jakabos has a lifetime best of 2:10.27, which she posted in 2013. The Hungarian placed sixth in Barcelona in the 200 IM.
When healthy Jakabos has shown that she can contend in the top eight at major international competitions.
A notable absence in this event is Australian Alicia Coutts. Coutts has stood on the podium at many of the major international competitions over the past five years, but failed to make the Australian team in this event for Kazan.
- Katinka Hosszu, HUN – 2:07.43
- Ye Shiwen, CHN – 2:07.85
- Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, GBR 2:08.19
- Maya Di Rado, USA – 2:08.35
- Kanako Watanabe, JPN – 2:08.54
- Zsuzsanna Jakobs, HUN – 2:08.61
- Melanie Margalis, USA – 2:08.79
- Hannah Miley, GBR – 2:09.38
Dark Horse: Mireia Belmonte, ESP 2:09.41
SCHEDULE (POOL SWIMMING STARTS ON DAY 9)
SWIMMING FINALS SCHEDULE:
Day 1, Sun August 2nd (Day 9)
Day 2, Mon August 3rd (Day 10)
Day 3, Tue August 4th (Day 11)
Day 4, Wed August 5th (Day 12)
Day 5, Thur August 6th (Day 13)
- M 200 IM
- M 100 Free
- W 200 Fly
- W 50 Back
- W 4×200 Free Relay
Day 6, Fri August 7th (Day 14)
Day 7, Sat August 8th (Day 15)
Day 8, Sun August 9th (Day 16)