A Quiet Moment In Marseilles: 4:29.89 & A European Record For Katinka Hosszu

Katinka Hosszu by Gian Mattia D'Alberto / La Presse
Katinka Hosszu by Gian Mattia D'Alberto / La Presse

The 200m butterfly remains the only event on the World Championship programme, all strokes, all distances, in which Katinka Hosszu’s career high belongs to a time before 2013. The latest best swept the Hungarian inside 4:30 in the 400m medley for the first time: 4:29.89, a European record.

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Comments

Bad Anon

That 4.29.89 is the exact time Coventry went for sliver in Beijing albeit in a synthetic suit making Hosszu tied 3rd on the all time list and only the second swimmer in textile to crack 4.30; her energy conservation on backstroke where she’s 2sec faster on other occasions making her freestyle split very healthy

Alexander Alexander

Well done, Katinka – gold in Rio is a certainty 🙂

paolo rubbiani

Really not unexpected.., in the previous stage of the Golden Tour Hosszu swam a 4.32.25 in the 400 im 20 minutes later after an 8.31 in the 800 free (same schedule of Belmonte today).
Without the 800 free shortly before, an 8.29 high was on paper..

Remains the Hosszu’s peculiarity, i.e. what Craig points-out in every occasion: “a career of two halves” – what went before late 2012 and what has unfolded since, Hosszu registering world-class times in the bulk of world-championshiop events, all strokes, all distances, relatively late in a long career at a time when she left established programs and coaches behind and worked with the man she would marry, American Shane Tusup.”

paolo rubbiani

Edit: a 4.29 high was on paper

Yozhik

Oscar Wilde can be ashamed with all his stories compare to this one. In two months Hosszu is going 27. I am afraid even to think about what awaits us when she gets 40.

Felix Sanchez

Before this I didn’t think she’d ever get the WR, but my mind is changing.

Crazy to think that that distant second from Fantine Lesaffre would have taken silver at 2007 world championships (as would Belmonte).

Yozhik

Since contemporary competitive swimming pushes athletes to the limits of human body the strong specialization is required. Cate Campbell has difficulties to break 2 minutes at 200. Federica Pellegrini is no good at 800. Jazmin Carlin doesn’t contest 1500. Etc. But there is a niche for those who by his/her physical forms and conditions cannot fit these specialization requirements. I call them anti specializers. Or IMers. It’s true it is interesting to watch such races because one never knows what to expect. Scenery is changing with each new stage of the race. But basically it is not the race of who is stronger, but is the race of who is less weak at particular stroke. One can call them all around or the most diversified athletes, but the situation is very similar to decathlon in T&F. There are some people who like this competition. Then I don’t. It is good to be good at many things if you are at school. But when it comes to professional level the picture is completely different. I would prefer to watch the race with Usain Bolt rather than event with the champion in decathlon.
This season Hosszu is 12th at 100 freestyle, 3rd at 100 back, 52nd at 100 fly and hasn’t even competed at 100 breaststroke. And, BUM!!! Near to the world record race at 400IM. I think it says more about this record and about those who is not good at one or more strokes than about Hosszu’s achievements.
p.s. for some reason IMers have more chances to make good livings than athlete who is specializing strongly in particular swimming discipline.

Jose Peña

Hosszu has tried all the possible race strategies to break Ye’s record and she hasn’t achieved it. I think that we cant expect something better from Katinka. I dont wanna anticipate anything but I strongly believe that she is not gonig to break this record. Moreover, I even hesitate if she is gonna win 400im at Rio, I consider that Belmonte, if she is completely recovered, has more endurance than Hosszu. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what I think it’s going to happen.

Zhen Sun

Just for the record, Ye shiwen swam a 4:30.84 at 2014 national trials 04:30.84 (RT 0.76) splits 00:29.00 01:02.70 01:38.47 02:13.57 02:51.23 03:28.99 03:59.87 04:30.84

beachmouse

While I’m all for swimmers being able to opt into a program of competition where they throw a bunch of events against the wall and see what sticks, I think it’s time for Katinka to pare it down and focus on highest probability targets in Rio. She may secretly be wanting to be Phelps but it hasn’t worked to this point for her at the highest level meets. (The attempted 200 fly/200 free at WCs last year comes to mind- I still think if she’d dropped the 200 free, she would have had a fly medal there)

So drop the frees and sprint backstroke and go 400 IM, 200 IM, and 200 back for Rio. Save the bigger program for less competitive meets like SC Worlds.

Craig Lord

I think your thought a reasonable one, Jose P, unless we’re to see this curve and chart change shape once more.

Craig Lord

Yes, Zhen, thanks, my list shows performers not performances (i.e., just one entry per swimmer – Hosszu’s multiples there because the focus is on her and her progress)

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I urge caution when it comes to saying Achievement A reflects the weakness of other swimmers, wherever that may be. Two main reasons in general, not citing any specific case but pertinent to swimming history: outstanding achievement often takes time for others to catch up on (history stacked with that but it didn’t mean that No2 to No 10 in the world were weak, just that the No1 was amazing); and more negatively, we’ve heard before the stuff of dominance being put down to the weakness of others, when in fact it came down to the cheating of those being dominant not the weakness of others, relative or otherwise.

Yozhik

Craig, you didn’t get my point. Couple years ago there was a major golf tournament (I think US Open) where three low rank players luckily finished first. The three way tie break happened to be the game of who makes less bogey. It was an embarrassment. The winner did get money but no applause. For me IM race is about the same. One swimmer cannot swim breaststroke, another almost gets drown swimming fly, the third one gets a lot of water in lungs swimming backstroke. But at the finish they are all together. Very exciting and spectators are happy.
The 4×100 medley relay is a fair competition. The competition between strongest in each stroke. 400 IM is not. Note how we even usually describe IM race. We do not say: he won because he has strong fly. But we do say: he lost because he has weak backstroke. Do you feel the difference?

Yozhik

@Craig. If you like IM competition it is ok with me. Enjoy it. But I don’t. I don’t get it when someone who is nobody at individual stroke competition beats another similar nobody and calls himself a world champion in swimming.

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, you make it sound like IMers are jacks of all trades and masters of none. But that is incorrect. Phelps, Lochte,Cseh, Hosszu, Rosolino back in the day, are/were all specialised in at least one stroke (I e. capable of winning gold or silver in that stroke races)

paolo rubbiani

@Jose Pena: In my opinion no way that Belmonte, particularly THIS Belmonte after her shoulder injury, may edge Hosszu in the 400 im. Only DiRado could near Hosszu, but with the 400 im in the first day of Olympics, Katinka is the heavy favorite for gold, and I think that she may swim a 4.27 high at Rio.
Hosszu has worked on her endurance and her breastroke and now she is a fantastic imer (superstrong in the 200 im where her transitions from a style to another are unmatched on the women’s side), no doubts about it (the doubts about her peculiarity as a swimmer capable to perform impressive times in every period of the year will remain on the table, but without proofs..).

@Yozhik: your posts are often interesting but when you talk about IM I totally disagree..
Your position could have some reasons perhaps 40 years ago, but already with Darnyi, Dolan and Sievinen, great swimmers also in specific distances is a non-sense. After the appearance of superstars like Phelps, Lochte, Cseh or Hagino (or Katie Hoff of Beijing) is totally a non-sense: the IMs, with those superstars of swimming, have become the most elevated expression of swimming indeed, and your deriding view of IMs competition appears totally unjustified.

Craig Lord

Medley is a whole, Yozhik, that’s how you have to see it to appreciate it…

paolo rubbiani

Edit: or Katie Hoff of Melbourne2007, Stephanie Rice and Kirstie Coventry of Beijing2008 etc etc

Craig Lord

I see what you mean – I also see Phelps, Lochte, Hagino, Caulkins and so on – and hear soaring symphonies 🙂

aswimfan

Actually, most all of winners of IM events in Olympics/World Championships have won/could have won medals in free/stroke events.. starting from Gould, Evans, Egerszegi, Klochkova, etc etc.

Yozhik

@Craig. I’ve gotten what was confusing about my statement of achievements. If one competes against somebody who is above average in all strokes relative to the level of competition (school, state country, world) then IM is a fair competition of strength. If your opponent is below average at some stroke then that it is a taking of advantage of someone else’s weakness. Similar if I go to kindergarten to compete with children.
If one defeats a swimmer who has weakness (below qualified level) at some stroke, and is saying that the competition was fair because he/she also swims poorly one or more strokes then it is indeed a fair competition of who has less weaknesses.

Yozhik

@Luigi. Yes, you found right words. That is exactly how it was intended to sound. I knew that big names will come. But whenever you mention them ask yourself: who were those guys that this big shots were competing against. Wasn’t it just an easy opportunity to pick up some gold medal competing against losers? Did they really showed something to be proud of? Those big names are exceptions that prove the rule. In overwhelming number of cases the IM competitions is exactly how you described it (I like your language 🙂 )
Imagine a new type of competition where the winner is determined by results of two races: 100m and 1500. One can say that none of self-respecting world specialists will compete at this event, because it is constructed for those who has no chances to win individually neither at 100 nor 1500. Then I will say: Ledecky can, Ledecky will and Ledecky does. Does the argument that refers to unique swimmer prove anything? No, it doesn’t
The only 400IM race that I found fascinating is the final at Olympic Games in London. If it was naturally given to Ye Shiwen, then that is the outstanding achievement.

ThereaLuigi

Yozhik, I won’t debate your tastes, because “de gustibus non est disputandum”. But just so that you know it, ” Jack of all trades, master of none” is an epression I borrowed from the English language

Craig Lord

Uniqueness can indeed lead to proving something, Yozhik. Lots of examples, if you think about it. Several obvious examples (no, not going through them here 🙂

Yozhik

@Craig. Yeah, it is time to stop. As Luigi mentioned everything about sport love is a question of taste preferences. I like straight hard drinks and prefer in sport the competition at core human abilities. Other people like cocktails and artificially constructed sport competitions. Not everything is black-and-white. But I like your style of arguments “If you think …”
I’m trying to do so as much as possible and sometimes succeed with this exhausting process. 🙂

aswimfan

Yozhik,

using your argument, we should ban swimmers who win because they have much better start/turn/underwater.

And there are many examples of that.

Also, your analogy of 400 IM to swimming two events of 100 and 1500 is false.

aswimfan

Also, I don’t understand how you seemingly completely reversed your position regarding IM winners.

Here’s what you wrote previously:
” I don’t get it when someone who is nobody at individual stroke competition beats another similar nobody and calls himself a world champion in swimming.”

But now you are saying that Ye Shiwen is the outstanding champion and her win is naturally given.

Shiwen is nobody is any individual stroke, while Hosszu, Phelps, Lochte, Caulkins, etc etc all the way back to Gould were champions in individual stroke.

It’s fine that you dislike IM, but you are trying too hard to make your dislike sounds scientific/reasonable while it’s just is: subjectively dislike.

Yozhik

I’m not sure what you want me to say, asf. This topic is closed. I explained my points as much as I could using the language that is not my native. Based on responses of other people I got an impression that I was understood. If you want to talk more about this topic I can contact you via email you gave me. If you just want to express publicly your dislike of the way I am presenting my opinion and that makes you happy then go ahead. I don’t mind. “Don’t worry, be happy”.
Regarding Ye’s race. At the end of my post I provided the link to the video of this race on YouTube, that was silently removed by editor without explanations. I recommend you to see it one more time. I was impressed not with the IM race by itself where leaders changed three or four times but with what Ye did with the field. It looks like everybody stopped to swim. But other swimmers did swim and did it very well. That was exactly my case that you probably missed. She swam strongly against strong freestylers. That rarely happens at most IM races: fair competition at each stroke.
And the last thing. I do have this wonderful ability to change my opinion following correct arguments of other people. I can even accept your opinion if it sounds scientific/reasonable.
Best regards.

Craig Lord

Some video links cause comments to go to spam… you comment appeared and disappeared… I retrieved it from spam and removed the link (I don’t have time to work out why some links work and some don’t – digital can do that; i find instant solutions and move on, Yozhik – and there is your explanation – the video is easily accessed with a google search).
I heard lots of people talk about and read lots of media reports about how impressive the GDR girls and indeed the Chinese girls of the 1990s handled their races and controlled the opposition. Easy to do that if you know something they don’t, Yozhik. Again, I recommend deeper thought on such obvious moments of concern – talking about that particular race in the terms you do is to offer a small slither of the story and fail to mention the elephant in the room.

ThereaLuigi

I can relate to Yozhik’s dislike for IM. When I started following swimming, the only races I really cared for were the Men 100 freestyle and the Men 4×100 free relay. The fastest stroke, the fastest race (I totally overlooked the 50 for years) and the fastest relay. Then over the years I changed my mind and started appreciating the whole picture. I guess you can stay with Chianti and Barolo all your life or start drinking other reds and some white wines (sorry if I mention Italian wines, no chauvinism there, they are just the ones I know better 🙂 ). the IM is an incredibly complex race where you must manage 4 different techniques, 7 different turns, and distribute your energy along the whole process … it’s a race that takes guts and brain.
The only race I don’t really love is the 4×200. It’s a loong relay and to me that defies its own purpose. Plus, only a handful of nation can put up a decent 4×200 quartet at any given final. Of course there have been memorable 4×200 relay finals over the years but I just don’t get hooked. Maybe that’s gonna change in 2016.

aswimfan

I agree with you ThereaLuigi,

4×200 excites me the least.

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