Chad Le Clos Holds Off Tamas Kenderesi In Tight Tussle Over 200 ‘Fly In Monaco

Chad Le Clos  - by Patrick B. Kraemer
Chad Le Clos - by Patrick B. Kraemer

A 200m butterfly battle between Olympic champion Chad Le Clos and Tamas Kenderesi stole the show in the opening session of finals on Mare Nostrum Tour in Monaco: 1:54.80 for the Rio defender; 1:55.11 for the Hungarian chaser.

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Barnabas Mandi

Craig-
Katinka’s 400IM final started at 17:07 (CET), the 200free at 17:36, the 200back at 18:02. Between the events ther was the victory ceremony of the previous race.
On the other hand she achieved PB in 400free, in 100breast and in 50breast (three times) in Bergen last weekend where she swam an “all in” . So she is not only better and better in backstoke, but some other one too and also in very different distances.
E.g this is the explanation why she is so dominant in 200 and 400IM.

Craig Lord

Yes, Barnabas, we can see all of that: all part of a unique profile that is, as yet, void of an explanation that makes the rest of the swimming world say ‘ah, silly us, so that’s where we’ve been gone wrong and why she is able to do what we simply cannot manage – that’s the trick we’ve been missing’.

Peter Lee

Hi Craig, I’ve watched numerous videos of Katinka swimming pre-2013 and post-2013 and her YouTube series, and I can offer a few explanations for her improvements (not the whole picture):

1. her backstroke tempo has noticeably increased
2. her breaststroke pull and kick are more synchronized
3. she’s trying to change her fly (lighter entry)

these technique changes don’t completely explain her progression to 2:06 and 4:29, but I guess we’ll never know 🙂

Barnabas Mandi

Shane knows something that’s for sure 🙂

Craig Lord

Yes, Peter Lee, that we all see. It is the reason behind such transformation that is yet to be explained.

Craig Lord

Without a doubt, Barnabas

Barnabas Mandi

Don’t foget that in this case there’s only one swimmer and one trainer/team whole day behind her.

Craig Lord

Barnabas, lots of examples of that in swim history (lots of personalised programs around the world, even within programs with several world-class swimmers working with every back-up you could think of at their disposal) – not the same result. If this is down to expert coaching and back up, we can look forward to many more big title contenders from this young coach in the years ahead. Time will tell. Lots of examples of great successes built on the back of multiple-swimmer programs in history, programs in which the very fact that there were so many great swimmers in one place at the same time contributed to their success. Time and again you will pass through the mixed zone or take in an interview with a swimmer and hear them say how important it is to be surrounded by challenge and professional teammates day in, day out. None of that should be seen as a lesser model than the one-coach/one swimmer approach, which we’ve seen before.

Barnabas Mandi

Yes Craig, but they belong to each other in every possible way and it has been working already for four years. We’ll see the future.
Other topic. Professional soccer player in European top leagues plays pretty well or mostly excellent in every 3 days during the whole season (around 11 months yearly) mostly without any serious injury. They run min. 10 kms/match in different circumstances, from 40 degree Celsius to 20 degree Celsius below zero. Between 15-95 percent humidity. They do their best in sunshine in storm in snow etc. Only the color of the ball changes in wintertime:) Nothing else. There’s no training, no commercial, humanitarian, national etc. match or travelling inside it. What about NBA, NHL, NFL, baseball, rugby, cricket, tennis, athletics e.g. Is it normal to a human body or just they and we got used to it that yes. What’s the difference? Perhaps nothing, maybe the old school, the ancient approach of all the members in this very likeable sport including the fans too.

Craig Lord

Not convinced by any of those arguments, Barnabas – swimming, water, different element, different sport altogether. That’s a huge topic, not for here. The whole world and a vast tradition stacked with evidence of ‘what works and what does not’ cannot be wrong but one relatively inexperienced coach in a very specific circumstance right to the extent that a whole sport has to change the way its done. Scepticism is rife far and wide on that score. Your reference to ‘no training’ in several of the sports you mention is way off the mark, of course 🙂 I also make these two points:
1. footballers are, in general, not a patch on swimmers when it comes to fitness and athleticism, in my view – take a footballer and a swimmer and ask them to do a general fitness challenge away from their prime skill zone and I think I know which sport the winning team would come from
2. if from August every program in the world committed to far less training, far more racing, using vast levels of food supplementation etc etc, the long-term depth of quality in world swimming would decrease, not increase. I’m not a betting man but I’d put money on that. I won’t need to, of course, because the world of vastly experienced coaches and programs responsible for what in general are small gains with each passing Olympic cycle are not sold on the model you suggest. That’s probably because it doesn’t work; not because they’re all stupid.

aswimfan

Ok, so in less than one month, Hosszu has competed in euro Champs in London, Romanian meet, bergen festival and now marenostrum in Monte Carlo.

In all of these meets, she swam at very high level in most events.

Question is:
When and where does she train?
How come she doesn’t get ill and/or injured competing non stop while training at the same time? And her events are not exactly kind on the body, either.
How did she swam 4:34, 2:09 and 1:56 within one hour?

Disregarding anything else, she does live up to her nick name of Iron Lady.

Barnabas Mandi

Yes Craig, I see. ‘No training’ means no training time is included. The topic is really huge my question is only rhetorical. I could name some soccer player, but I really don’t want to do it I mentioned only the sport on the whole and I mentioned some other one too. I forgot water polo? I wrote examples only. I didn’t suggest anything and I special highlight that I didn’t say and don’t think that one of them is stupid. Otherwise most of the sports I mentioned are Olymic ones. Idon’t want to argue with you

Craig Lord

Barnabas, forgive me if I gave the impression that the ‘stupid’ etc was in direct response to how I thought you felt. My comment is aimed at the attitude tangible in Tusup that sometime when he has something to teach the world of swimming that they simply haven’t got. I look forward to such revelation but I’m not holding my breath. On training, I do see what you mean but what I mean by unique is this: for a tennis player, a tournament may mean 4 or 5 matches of 2, 3 and even 5-hours a go (singles and doubles) in the course of a week… that’s some training session in itself. I don’t believe that equates to a weekend on which a swimmer races 3km of swims split in bits and pieces and for the most part unchallenging (most of KH’s swims are only self-challenging; for the most part there is no race with others involved away from the very biggest occasions) … at the same moment that one of her rivals may have covered the best part of 20km in training that same weekend. I’m not arguing, as such, but certainly happy to discuss – it is a very interesting topic, but one that needs more than I can give it right now…

Barnabas Mandi

Aswinfan, this year Katinka trained much more than last year.
Answering your question she went home on friday morning -well before the end of the EUropeans- she trained in Komjadi pool in the afternoon. In Bucharest she swam only 400 IM on wednesday they flew their same day in the morning from Budapest. Thursday in the early morning they flew to Bergen, ind the afternoon at first they went to the ADO pool from the airport. In Begen sha swam an ‘all in’, PB in 400 free, 100 breast and 50 breast (3 times) Just after Bergen back to Budapest, after it to Monaco etc. Yes she swam 4:34, then 1:56, then 2:09 within 55 minutes and between them was the Victory Ceremony of the previous event. Yesterday 4:06, 1:00, 2:11 after it the gala dinner for the Prince. They left Monaco this morning

Craig Lord

Barnabas, that is part of the puzzle: anyone who travels and works on the go knows how exhausting that can be, particularly long term. Many programs build in deliberate travel to get kids used to it, while also trying to manage the load and the energy levels required for focus on training. The regime you paint would be too punishing for many, I would imagine. College days in the US would surely have been a breeze compared to the energy levels required in the scenario you set, one that is fairly continuous.

aswimfan

Barnabas,
I was exhausted just from reading Hosszu’s itinerary!

Barnabas Mandi

aswinfan,

and I didn’t mention how you can fly from Bucharest to Bergen. Bucharest-Frankfurt-Oslo-Bergen, so two connecting flights. Simple, right?

Barnabas Mandi

Craig, I answer a little bit later, I’m also happy to speak about theese things.

Barnabas Mandi

Craig,
traveling really matters, I mentioned it at the other sports, and differently impress persons. E.g my mom hates it, my dad goes along with it. He was FEI 5* (formerly “O”, the highest level) judge in dressage till he could, it’s age related. At that time 27 person had this level in the world. Nowadays he is doing some coaching. Travelling and working on weekly basis during the past decades. Now he’s 77 and of course working somewhere abroad.
Back to swimming. Yes Tusup is not the most likeable guy but who is. The former American coach of Katinka, of course we know who he is, said after London Olympics to her that no problem still you can open a beauty salon in Budapest. Nice, right? But I’m sure this was the turning point. Since then Shane and Katinka works pretty well together. I think they don’t want to teach anything to anybody. They’re making a brand, making money. Swimming is only part of it. Presently the main part. Self-challenging? The easiest way and good training. Nobody can really think that one 400 IM swim in Bucharest happened because it wasn’t in Bergen’s scedule. Only the €10K was the cause (for the highest point scorer). When money involves anything in this case a sport, swimming, everything is starting to change. Somebody always be the first. In this case Katinka. We’ll see.

Craig Lord

Barnabas, yes, I see all that, thanks. Of course, I don’t equate easy 400IM wins in Romania etc with the stuff of train-racing/ racing to train … making a ‘star’ appearance in Bucharest and the home country of the FINA director doesn’t look like anything that adds to a masterplan, to be honest. Chasing the money is clearly part of the plan. What is also clear is that swimming as a sport far and wide is far from following that model as things stand, for all sorts of reasons, including the age bracket of elite swimmers, many still in school/college in their peak years. I genuinely do not see a time when we will see 10-20 and more world-class swimmers racing week in week out for money prizes at a pace that would knock the peak-performance pace of the vast majority into a cocked hat.

Barnabas Mandi

If you have time please look at the last Inside the Forge video from Monaco. You can see a daily routine and everything else too.

Craig Lord

Yes, I’ve seen myriad daily routines, Barnabas. I know how it works. Watching the likes of Beisel, Miley and Co is truly exhausting… Monaco looks like a breeze (and a commercial enterprise) 🙂

Barnabas Mandi

🙂

Barnabas Mandi

Craig, yes but e.g. in Hungary you don’t belong to a university, only you learn there so you can be professional in anything, you can work, earn money, accept money, lease an X1 for a year etc. And of course you can race for your university too. It’s not the American model.
From 18y you are fully adult, free to do anything according to the law.
There will be more and more I think. We can look at the Wold Cups and different series yearly, before and after Europeans, Wolds, Olympics etc. How many generally ? Nobody kwows the future. Now professionals in almost any sport can take part in the Olympic Games. Now boxing comes. Everything changes. More money, more competitor, more spectator, more media, more sponsor, more advertiser, more money….

Craig Lord

Perhaps, Barnabas but I recall hearing the same thing in 1992, 1995, 1999, 2002, 2005 and most years in between 🙂 the world cup is a disaster zone not one that has attracted a serious entry – and forget media – there is no media to speak of at any world cup events – and the archive of media around the world confirms a stark truth: take away niche swim media and the odd local report and you’re looking at the round-up column at very best; and mostly no coverage at all. Not her fault but KH winning and winning and winning and racing and racing and racing is not attracting media to the sport – indeed it could well be argued that it is a big turn off. Swimming needs a better model…

Barnabas Mandi

Yes you are right, it’s not the best. FINA tries something at least. Good or not it’s another question. I’m not a team or family member of KH only a fan of swimming nothing else. Clos, CVDB, Seebohm, Larkin etc. are also there generally. On occasion Olympic, World, European champions, medalists, finalists are also there. You are much more informed in sports media of course, but in the long term in Internet era it’s impossible to sweep things under the carpet or turn our backs. Nine towns, nearly USD 2.2 million prize money. New main sponsor. Some kind of media will be there shortly.

Craig Lord

Barnabas, the media has largely turned its back on all fina activity beyond major championship moments. That’s a reality. The world cup has a sprinkling of the folk you mention – and mostly domestic line-ups behind that sprinkling. That won’t cut it. If the best of the best are not there on a regular basis it is not a world series – easy to work out. Again: we’ve been saying the same for a quarter of a century: the world cups of the 1980s and early 90s before FINA took it all on were often more thrilling with big head to heads and cars and stuff for prizes – a a media bench that was stacked with reporters. That’s not happening now, regardless of the money. The product needs to be scrapped in favour of something much better.

Barnabas Mandi

Craig, media wherefrom? E.g a magazine who can publish an article without a hitch in last may? Who writes that SC is nothing, but yards?
Who is the best of the best? An olympic champion? E.g John Mary Pius Boland the first one in tennis? Sports are changing. All of them. We can’t do anything about this. What’s the difference among events when somebody does a sub4:00 in LC w400 free? Nothing. It’s against the clock. Is it “self-challenging”? That’s fore sure. Just like the w800, the w1500 (so called mile -shit-, none of the miles is 1500m. It could be, there’s about 70 different). And the w200IM and the w400IM. Presently it’s self-challenging anywhere.

Craig Lord

Barnabas, sports may well be changing but some things are constant: O Games remains the big thing that a much, much, much wider audience tunes into once every four years. World L/C comes closest, but far away… and everything else is lights years back in terms of audience, including W s/c and world cups etc. It is the sport in between the Games and W l/c Champs (which I’d stage once every four years again in between O Games if it were my choice) that can and should change – so much potential but entirely untapped. The current product is simply not attracting media. And by media I mean the kind of media swimming gets at World L/C Champs. And which media is very clear: take Wimbledon or any of the majors in tennis, golf, racing, etc and there is a constant media presence from many major daily newspaper and online titles around the world, radio, TV, magazines and niche (some of which doesn’t even show then – all from TV, livestream and results service/much cheaper that way for community exercises without a solid journalistic background that grants them access to the big events live. Those big sports operating in a realm well beyond the scope of swimming ($ and audience and constant coverage in part because of the formats they keep, often involving 1 main activity or 2 or 3 ‘extras’ such as singles/doubles/mixed) have correspondents dedicated full-time or just about to the sport they cover. Not swimming, not even close these days. The only events where just about everyone shows up? Yes … O Games and World L/C champs. The world s/c titles and the world cup events unfold with almost no-one in the spectator stands for much of the time (heats, a desert unless you count the school kids bussed in to fill the seats and make some noise – thank goodness for them on many occasions; and finals not much better far too often, particular when the trend is to hold such events in places where there is no natural audience for swimming). And yes, an Olympic champion in swimming is the best of the best. That absolutely remains the case. Walk down any high street in German, Britain, US, Australia, Canada, Spain, parts of African swathes of Asia and so on and say ‘who’s Michael Phelps’ – y they would know. Do the same for the women’s world cup dominator these past several seasons and you can guarantee 95% plus if not much closet to 100% blank stares. When you mention yards that is an American phenomenon – a college phenomenon: the US market is a unique part of swimming real estate, belongs to a marketplace of its own – and for the most part that doesn’t translate to the wider world (even sponsors will tell you as much) until the show goes long course metres and then you’re looking at nation No1 and all that goes with it. FINA has convinced itself it has global ‘stars’: no it doesn’t – it has provided the environment and conditions to have ‘global stars’. Any global stars of the sport are self-made, so to speak: Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe etc… the folk who are household names beyond their own nation. Very few of those in swimming. That’s not swimming’s fault nor the fault of athletes but federations/blazers domestic and those feeding into intl do, however, carry responsibility. They could do much more to make swimming attractive to a bigger audience (and please let no one cite me official stats from FINA about TV audiences – they are virtual, not real, and include everyone who potentially was watching a news program when a 20sec clip of the finish of a Phelps race was shown… that’s not a swimming audience).

Barnabas Mandi

Craig, you are the expert not me. Yes, Worlds would be better in between Olympics, and Europeans, Pan Ams, Asia Pacific, Pan Pacific in every two years or some of them yearly.
By the way do you know something certain about the British m400 free relay?

Barnabas Mandi

I see what you mean and mostly you are right only US is a little bit funny here. I don’t want to hurt anybody but most of them don’t know anything outside their native land.
I had been in all of the countries you named but I forgot to ask that question so I can’t disagree with you 🙂

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