SAINT PAUL, Reunion, December 28. A handful of stars have descended on the Indian Ocean Championships being held in Saint Pierre, Reunion this weekend with Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu looking for several more gold medals by the end of the three-day short course meter excursion.
Hosszu opened the evening with a 1:57.38 to win the women’s 200-meter freestyle finale. That’s nowhere near the third-ranked 1:52.32 she threw down at the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup tour, but is plenty enough to claim gold here in Reunion. Ukraine’s Ganna Dzerkal touched second overall in 2:01.43, while France’s Mathilde Hoareau raced into third with a 2:01.73.
After seeing the rest of her schedule, it won’t be surprising that Shane Tusup confirmed that Dzerkal is now training with Hosszu and her squad in Hungary.
Hosszu doubled up in the next event with a 27.24 to dominate the women’s 50-meter backstroke event. That’s just outside the top 10 in the world in what is considered an off-event for Hosszu. Dzerkal took second again with a 29.60, while France’s Taleen Boucher wound up third in 30.28.
Hosszu then placed second in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke with a 1:08.79 behind one of the best in the world in Russia’s Yuliya Efimova. Efimova tracked down a 1:03.88 for the win, just a second off her third-ranked season best of 1:02.96 from the European Short Course Championships. Efimova is one of the stars that decided to follow Hosszu to this meet after Hosszu put it on the map last year. Dzerkal picked up another podium with a third-place 1:09.32.
World-record holder Hosszu bounced back in the women’s 400-meter IM with an easy speed 4:34.44 to win the distance medley for her third win of the night. That’s 14 seconds off her world record from August, but it’s more than enough to beat Dzerkal’s 4:55.94 for second. Hoareau earned another podium with a third-place 5:00.48.
Hosszu walked away with yet another triumph with a 2:07.04 in the women’s 200-meter backstroke. France’s Laurine Del’Homme placed second in 2:17.59, while Dzerkal pocketed another top-three finish with a 2:22.96.
France’s Benoit Debast topped the men’s 200-meter free in 1:48.59, while distance freestyle specialist Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy claimed second-place honors in 1:49.83. Hungary’s David Foldhazi, part of Hosszu’s training contingent, picked up third overall in 1:50.09.
Foldhazi returned in the men’s 50-meter backstroke to earn bragging rights over his head coach Shane Tusup with a 25.70 to 26.87 victory in the sprint back. That’s not bad for Tusup, considering his primary focus in life is being the coach and agent for his growing team in Hungary that includes his wife Hosszu. France’s Alann Bobe placed third in 26.92.
Foldhazi doubled up with a 54.65 to win the men’s 100 fly with France’s Mathieu Bachmann taking second in 55.94. Kevin Lucian of France rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 56.13. Foldhazi then took second in the men’s 400-meter IM with a 4:21.70, while Paltrinieri claimed the title in 4:20.54. France’s Ambrose Petit took third overall in 4:24.20.
Another title went to Foldhazi in the men’s 200 back with a 2:03.31,while France’s Pierre-Yves Desprez hit the wall second in 2:05.27. France’s Alann Bobe posted a third-place time of 2:10.40.
Official results from the men’s 100 breast with Daniel Gyurta and the women’s 100 fly with Hosszu were never made publicly available. Tusup, however, informed Swimming World that Gyurta won the 100 breast with a 58-point swim, with Foldhazi second. Hosszu also won the 100 fly in a 59-point swim with Dzerkal second. That’s five golds for Hosszu in a day.
These times were confirmed the following day when meet organizers updated results. Gyurta won in 58.42 with Foldhazi taking second in 1:03.38. Hosszu won the 100 fly in 59.88 with Dzerkal in second in 1:01.97.