Chad Le Clos Builds Edge Of Speed: 51.58 In 100 ‘Fly As Monaco Mare Nostrum Wraps Up

Chad Le Clos - Water Instinct [Photo - Arena]

World champion Chad Le Clos (RSA) edged up the world rankings to No7 with a Mare Nostrum Tour opener of 51.58 to win the 100m butterfly at the Monaco curtain-closer today. The Rio 2016 Olympic podium will be fought in the 50sec zone but Le Clos, far from the peak he will seek in Brazil…

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World champion Chad Le Clos (RSA) edged up the world rankings to No7 with a Mare Nostrum Tour opener of 51.58 to win the 100m butterfly at the Monaco curtain-closer today. The Rio 2016 Olympic podium will be fought in the 50sec zone but Le Clos, far from the peak he will seek in Brazil… […]


Jorge Abril

Take dietary suplemments is the order of the day in top-level sport.

Craig Lord

Perhaps so, in society too, Jorge – but I know a fair few podium placers who don’t go there; vast range of stuff involved in ‘supplementation’ of course, some of it that sells in abundance is readily available but is also totally inappropriate in sport under the WADA Code, as sportspeople know very well.

Blah Blah

the non banned (non hormonal mostly) supplements are not major performance boosters. Comparing that to hormonal supplementation is like comparing a bicycle to a Ferrari. So those supplements are highly unlikely to have a transformational impact.

Craig Lord

Quite blah, blah – so a huge waste of money vs a poor use of money for those making their choices either way

Jorge Abril

Craig, sometimes seems that you want putt an asterisk next to the name of Hosszu. Maybe this is just my feeling…(sorry about my written English but I am Argentine). Katinka is ‘innocent’ until proven guilty…


It would be interesting to know what swimmers and coaches are saying behind the scenes. Going public with direct accusations has legal ramifications as has already happened with SWM; case pending. An article on this site last year listed Hosszu’s personal bests post 2012. I couldn’t believe it, over 200 if I recall correctly. When you have a single performer across all sports that has no comparison, ever, that I am aware of (please correct if wrong) then surely you must have strong suspicions? No asterisk as such as no positive test, but a question mark certainly.

Craig Lord

Jorge: I know what I write, your interpretation is a matter for you – please don’t suggest things that cannot be proven 🙂 My view on innocence and that much overused phrase is, in general, were the world so simple … in fact , we know it is not. Michelle Smith has three Olympic gold medals and a bronze at home. She was never found guilty of having ‘andro’ in her whiskey… and yet, and yet… as I said, were the world so simple.


Sometimes we make world to look more complicated than it is. There were too many myths created about Katinka Hosszu. Created by media and people who like big but empty words like “iron lady”. Katinka Hoszu is a pretty ordinary stroke swimmer from the elite standards’ point of view. Her all-time rankings at 100 are : FR- 31; BK – 9; BR – 262; BU – 144. At 50 the rankings are not much different. She is not a sprinter and her endurance is barely enough to swim 400. The 200 distance (stroke or im) is the optimal race where she can show the best of her. She hasn’t shown anything amazing that will be remembered by swimming fans. Nothing like extremely fast Cate Campbell, or breathless world record by Sarah Sjostrom or unbelievably fast last 100 by Ye Shiwen, or size of the margin in Katie Ledecky’s races. The only achievement of high value is her world record at 200 IM. There is nothing “iron” with what she is doing. Yes she is able to deliver more than one high quality races in one meet. But that (including doubles) can do many swimmers. Franklin, Sjostrom, Ledecky, Seebohm, DiRado, you name it. Do we call those ladies an iron ones? Has such idea come to our minds when we are thinking of thousands racing meters performed with world record quality by Katie Ledecky at WC? No we don’t do it because it is stupid. So why was this title given by some journalists to Katinka Hosszu? Because she competes at many meets during the year and is able to swim more or less consistently within one percent of her personal bests. Is such ability unique? Not at all. Will one get surprised if Cate Campbell swims on regular basis around 53 sec? Or Katie Ledecky does 4:01 all year around or …… plenty of examples. After WC in Kazan last year Australian leading swimmers showed outstanding performance up the end of the year. It is not unique at all. Swimmers just have other priorities, different from Hosszu’s ones. Has Katinka Hosszu more high intensity load because of that number of meets during the year? I think that leading swimmers do much more work during many hours of daily training exercises and that supersedes what she does at meets with low level of competition.
What makes Hosszu unique is the fact that all her personal bests (if not to count 200 BU in 2009) were achieved recently at the age that is traditionally considered pre-retirement one. Since no explanations come from her or her coach then we have plenty rooms for the conspiracy theories. One better than another. The one that I am enjoying most is that she consumes a lot of split pea soup immediately prior the race. That makes a lot of gases that inflate her belly increasing buoyancy. Then gases got released creating jet propelling forces same way as old farts do in public pools.
The explanation that i’ve read here recently that she is workaholic and that is what hard work does, doesn’t make any good to Hosszu. If she is so hard working person then what had she been doing for ten years before? What was her working attitude in the most precious years of sporting career?
I personally think that Katinka Hosszu was given that natural abilities that she demonstrates now from the very beginning. That in her younger years she could achieve even more than she shows now. She simply was busy with more important priorities at college – to get American husband and to stay in USA. Now after getting married she has to run a family business to earn money. And that is swimming, swimming, swimming while her declining natural abilities are still good enough to win. I think that her potentials were higher in London than now. Just were not utilised properly.


Yohzik, Thanks for that.

Everyone to their own opinion, and thats great, but I certainly think that Katie Ledecky is better at performing miracles at quiet moments than KH.

The swim of Jessica Ashwood for example. A brilliant swim. Infact, so good that it is a few seconds off the time it took to win the 800 at any olympic games. (2008), even during the shiny suit debacle, and yet, trails KL by almost 12 seconds. Thats half a pool away.

Craig Lord

‘Half a pool’ away from a swimmer who clocked 8:14 for Olympic gold at 15, RSA sprinter; and a swimmer who picks her moments and spends most of her time away from the limelight getting ready in more ‘traditional’ fashion.

Blah Blah

Lol yozhik the improvements plus massive physical transformation of hosszu obviously begs questions and that’s putting it really delicately so Craig doesn’t erase this post. Katie ledecky is certainly an outlier but hosszu ? Lol it’s a joke .


Fair enough Craig. You are entitled to your view. KL has been a consistent performer, All credit to her. She has never had a doping foul either, which makes her swims exciting to watch. What does stand out though, is her “traditional fashion” is still far better than most. You would have to agree that every time she gets into the pool, be it rested or not, she is able to produce results that all of her competition could only dream about. She is leaps and bounds ahead of anyone in her field.

Case in point, her 800 free WR is almost exactly double the winning time from European LC a few weeks back. Roughly, she would have been able to swim the 400, tie with Kapas, and then continue, and replicate the same time.

She is nothing short of exceptional.

A quick question though, has anyone been around a KH training session? How many people are able to replicate her regimen? IE training a fair deal (I would imagine) travelling a lot, and racing at their maximum all the time?

Its not to say that it cant be done, but savvy swimmers dont need to push all the time heats and finals. It is, however, great practice, be that racing or training practice.

Zsolt Koszorus

It seems that the only thing what doubters do not understand is what Yozhik wrote: “all her personal bests (if not to count 200 BU in 2009) were achieved recently at the age that is traditionally considered pre-retirement one”
That’s true, nearly all after the 2012 Olympics, after Dave Salo, with her new coach, with the new “training” method.
“If she is so hard working person then what had she been doing for ten years before?” – good question.
She was it back in 2005-2006. But then she went to college to the US, and began to swim at Dave Salo. I don’t know how it works there, but, except 2009 when she became WC, she never really swam better than before. She wasn’t best prepared for the Olympics either. So i think, that four years were not the best for her.
And nearly right after the Olympics she tried something else. Something nobody tried before. Something new. And it’s not her fault that she wasted 4 years for nothing between 2008 (4:37,5) and 2012 (4:33,5), and that she had to wait 4 years more for the next olympics. And now she is at 4:29, again 4 secs minus.
And yes, she is 27, this is caused by the 8 years waiting (19+8=27).
Coventry was 25 in 2008, when she broke Egerszegi’s 200back WR.
Phelps and Cseh swam textile bests in 100Fly at age of 30.
Warnecke and Güttler were on podiums way over 30, and what is with Dara Torres.
Or take Belmonte , just one year younger, or Miley the same age.

So i don’t think that just because the method is unknown, it should be condemned, like fire in the stone age.
And this is my subjective opinion.

(sorry for my spelling, and etc…)

Craig Lord

Not nearly all, Zsolt, in textile suit: all, every single distance, all strokes on the world-champs program, all since 2013. There are several reasons why her profile is unique, including what separates her from all those other ‘oldies’ (meant nicely) you cite: all but one was a major podium placer in their teenage years – and maintained. The comparisons don’t work. As for fire in the stone age: it was quick to transform the whole world. I see no firestorm happening in swimming any time soon as a result KH’s model. Given swimming history, it is healthy to be skeptical (and that does not always mean ‘she’s cheating’) when something truly unique – and, to some extent, off the chart – makes its way through the sport like a maelstrom in a rush.

Taylor Niemann

Craig, I fully disagree that the comparisons don’t work. I think KH and her husband have found fire after a disappointing olympics in 2012, and created extensive plans on how to change their history. Much of it involved hard work, but it is more than that. They fabricated a vision, something to believe in and keep them going when the times got tough, and I believe the times are tough every time a swimmer steps on the blocks. KH has convinced herself she is Iron Lady, and when she trains and races, she becomes this. It has been scientifically proven that alter ego’s can bring out human performances that are greater than what a single person is capable of, and I believe KH and Shane Tusup are fully aware of this. I also believe that consistently fast swimming is the way of the future for this sport. We train to race, wouldn’t it make sense to train by racing? KH IS going to be a part of the firestorm that is already being created. The younger generation knows we don’t need to lose 3/4 of young swimmers to burn out due to some of the most boring training regiments in any sport. (Grinding out yardage in swimming at an early age just sucks). I’m not saying KH isn’t doped up, but even if she is, she still did the physical work, attended grueling weight work outs and sprint practices, and put her body through the ringer almost every weekend. She is proving that racing is key, and I at least am taking notes. Either way, the truth will come out eventually, whether that means we find she was doping, or we get insight into the training and the planning that created this beast.

Craig Lord

Taylor. I stand by what I’ve written (the comparisons don’t work at all; the stories and profiles are not at all the same) and have confidence that what I will write in the future will make those who feel as you do think again. As for train by racing – no: I disagree but if you think that the case then go rent a pool and get to it: show us how it works (let me know when the talented kid arrives who you’re going to work with on this project and I’ll be happy to track their progress). I am not at all convinced by any of the arguments I’ve heard – and neither, it seems to me, are dozens and dozens of programs around the world, coaches, sports scientists and others and the many who work without heavy doses of supplementation and don’t think that’s the right way to go for the long-term health of athletes. Take your notes and then let me know when you come up with a swimmer capable of holding every national record in a country such as Hungary on all strokes barring breaststroke, including distances 50 to 400; and the vast bulk of that developed between 24 and 27 years of age, with improvements of 4-5sec over 100m in the mix. Good luck. Hard work? Yes, you’ll find a great many doing that. Meanwhile the vision and “It has been scientifically proven that alter ego’s can bring out human performances that are greater than what a single person is capable of” – maybe so. But history provides the cloud: I have statements that sound extraordinarily similar to that… from GDR coaches and the key sports scientist who counted them in and out; from Chinese coaches in the 1990s and from Erik de Bruijn and others. Against that backdrop and what’s come to pass in swimming, it is reasonable to ask questions and point out the uniqueness of singular situations. You are entitled to cheerlead. That’s not my role.


Zsolt Koszorus,

Coventry was 25 in 2008, when she broke Egerszegi’s 200back WR. <———- Rubber suit

Phelps and Cseh swam textile bests in 100Fly at age of 30. <———- marginal improvements, and in 100 distance, not 400.

Warnecke and Güttler were on podiums way over 30, <——— So? Doesn't explain what Hosszu is doing.

and what is with Dara Torres. <——— now, you got me with this one. Better yet, why not throwing in Michelle Smith as well.

Or take Belmonte , just one year younger, or Miley the same age. <——— It's been 3 years since Belmonte set textile PBs in 200 fly and 400 IM. Also, Belmonte had injuries. So, why is Hosszu never injured or ill from all those super heavy training, frequent racing and constant travelling? Natural laws indicate something's gotta give. Not in Hosszu's case apparently. As if natural laws do not apply to her. Hence the nick name Iron Lady.


Interesting info,

at 5’8″, Hosszu is easily the shortest of all sprint backstrokers who have swum 58 in textile. This, achieved at the age of 26, and being a non-specialist.

Amazing, isn’t it?
It took years for the backstroke specialist 5’11” Seebohm, who went to world championships at the age of 14 and swam fourth fastest time at the 2007 worlds, to finally crack 58 textile.
Seebohm so wished she had that kind of improvement as Hosszu’s next year in Budapest.


Here’s the list of recent 400 IMers greats who had injuries:

Katie Hoff, Stephanie Rice, Kirsty Coventry, Ye Shiwen, Elizabeth Beisel, Mireia Belmonte.

All of them has had serious injuries hampering their training and competing.

It is interesting that Hosszu seems to be impervious to inuries despite swimming many many more events, training more intensively, racing/competing much more frequently and traveling much more often.

And yet still be able to deliver constant 4:30low almost every single time, prelims, semis, finals, london, kazan, bucharest, orlando, ect you name it.

What’s her secret?
Is swimming more, competing more, traveling more and doing more dryland work the secret to injury-free?


“We train to race, wouldn’t it make sense to train by racing? ”

It all sounds good, until we learn that Hosszu had NOWHERE near as fast her current PBs in just four years ago.
She certainly did not get it by just racing.
If racing is all needed, all US college swimmers wouldn’t have had to taper and rest for the Nationals as they already have frequent racing.

Zsolt Koszorus

I really wish my english would be better, than i could argue with you, but it isn’t.
For me it is also weird what she is doing, have never seen before something like that, and i hope that she is not doping, cause i do not want to relive the same as in 2004 with Róbert Fazekas, but for now for me she is a great swimmer, who believes and knows that she is intended for more.

KH was also a podium placer in her teenage years (junior european champ, EC silver), and maintained, and still maintaining. So do many.

What you do not want to see, that over the four years in the college, where she used to be the star, she did not develop (2009 doesn’t count), only in 2012, when she prepared at home for the olympics, which still became a disappointment.
There was much more in her, but i think her coach in the US was not sufficiently committed. In London she felt that she needs to survive the olympics without his help, he not even talked to her. KH wanted to talk to him about it, but he said only, that he do not understad what’s wrong, because she can open at any time a beauty salon in Budapest. There was also a video interview, in which he explained that he only tries to take advantage of his foreign swimmers. I think this is not fair. The same was with Kitajima i think…
(Several first class swimmers came to Hungary in the past (Lopez, Haynes, Poewe, ChLC ), and they weren’t handled else than the other swimmers. OK, those trips were only training camps, but…)

And now some answers, and questions for you Aswimfan:
No mention on Michelle Smith, cause she failed on doping control. Non of the others did, or will i think.

Warnecke and Güttler set PBs over 30, if that isn’t a problem, than why it is with Hosszú at 27?

Belmonte set WR on SC 400IM in 2014, that was not even two years ago.

“Seebohm, who went to world championships at the age of 14 and swam fourth fastest time at the 2007 worlds, to finally crack 58 textile.Seebohm so wished she had that kind of improvement as Hosszu’s next year in Budapest.” – i don’t get it. She cracked 59 in 2009, with shiny suit i think. Next year was the Budapest EC, where KH was beaten over 400IM, and her time was only 1 sec inside her textile best from 2008. OK, she won the 200IM with huge textile PB, maybe you did think of this, but perhaps only because she has caught a taste 🙂
Regarding the backstorke, she was never a backstroke specialist, but was never bad on that stroke. She began to swim that after her new coach, cause he was a backstroke swimmer, so she tried it.
By the way, KH is 5’8″, but Irie is also only 5’10”, so should he also be slower?

“Belmonte had injuries” – soooo, that proves that there must be a dope, which prevent injuries? And KH is taking a lot of them? Phelps was also never injured, or Lochte, Darnyi, Dolan, and many-many more…

As a final thought, as a Hungarian, it is not so uplifting to read, in every given article where KH is mentioned, the hidden assumption that she is doping. 🙁

I really like this page, i’m a reader long time ago, since the swimnews era, not from the very start, cause we had no internet back than, but more than 15 years, and i hope it will be much more. This was just an info 🙂

Good night!

Craig Lord

Thanks for you note, Zsolt, I understand the arguments you note about her days in California etc. I take them into account. I also know the coach in question as a man who has had a lot of success, far more than the swimmer’s current coach, of course – and I know that that coach also has faced criticism and even allegations. Such is life in a sport far from clean and far from dealing with it. I make this point again: noting the uniqueness of a profile (and there can be no question that we are dealing with a unique profile, regardless of any argument in the mix) does not add up to any hidden assumption that she is doping. I note the strangeness of it all and will continue to do so; just as I will continue to note that I have heard nothing that explains the rate, depth and breadth of progress at the heart of an inexhaustible travel-race program that forms part of a business venture, one that has left many leading coaches and swimmers around the world – in Hungary also, I might add – scratching their heads but refusing to or being unable to follow the pattern. I don’t mind if people wish to cheerlead but that is not my role, Zsolt. P.S. Your English is fine (a great deal better than my Hungarian 🙂

Zsolt Koszorus

Thanks Craig, i understand and accept that.

Have a good day!



Thank you for the reply and answers. I wish to not continue discuss about Hosszu, at least in this article. 🙂
It’s just one thing to summarize about Hosszu: Not in just one facet or two (like setting PB at advanced age), but in so many facets of her swimming, they are such stark outliers.

By the way, I was also a long time reader of swimnews reader from way back. Can’t remember exactly when, I think it was sometime in 1997. It’s a pity that there was no facility for comments/talk back, because I’m sure we already had active swimming fans community, we did have thriving discussion community at (I think it was under Yahoo), and then we had

Craig Lord

Nick Thierry never wanted comments, asf, and his views on that were truly hilarious (another day) – he had a view on never-ending racing as prep, too (just as funny but with a very serious edge to it, again, another day)

Zsolt Koszorus

I thank you Aswimfan, fair enough, and that’s what i really like here, can have different opinion, and it’s not a problem 🙂

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