ST. PAUL, Reunion, December 28. HUNGARY's Katinka Hosszu nearly had a clean sweep of the women's titles tonight on day one of the Indian Ocean Meet being held in short course format in St. Paul, Reunion. She didn't have to use her typical top-end speed as she has previously done throughout her short course triumphs this past year, but the FINA World Cup Queen and multiple world titlist crushed most of the competition this evening.
Germany's Britta Steffen, who typically excels in the sprint freestyle strokes with Olympic gold in that type of competition, demonstrated some range with a 1:54.66 to 1:55.03 triumph ahead of short course superstar Katinka Hosszu of Hungary in the women's 200 free. France's Cloe Hache rounded out the top three in the event with a 2:00.71. Hosszu has been much faster with a second-ranked 1:53.57 to her credit this year form the Singapore stop of the FINA World Cup, while Steffen vaulted to ninth in the world rankings. Steffen also stands fourth in the 50 free (24.01) and first in the 100 free (52.31) this year.
Hosszu bounced back in the women's 50 back with gold as she raced to a 28.40 in the sprint back event. Poland's Aleksandra Putra took second in 29.78, while France's Christelle Bertsch finished third in 30.10. Hosszu then went back-to-back with a victory in the women's 100 breast when she charted a 1:10.68 in the event. France's Geraldine Huffner took second in 1:13.78, while Mauritius' Elodie Poo Cheong snagged third in 1:15.18.
Hosszu posted a title trifecta with her third consecutive triumph, this time with a 58.05 in the women's 100 fly. She beat out The Netherlands' Inge Dekker, who took second in 59.43. France's Emma Morel claimed third in 1:02.15. Hosszu moved up to a tie for 21st in the event this year, while Dekker has been much faster with a 57.39 from the Tokyo stop of the World Cup. Hosszu followed that with a 4:37.60 to win the women's 400 IM, 15 seconds off her top time of 4:23.91 from Euro Short Course Champs that ranks her third this year. France's Alizee Morel (4:56.41) and Mathilde Hoareau (4:58.69) placed second and third. Hosszu concluded a stellar evening with her fifth title when she clocked a 2:11.20 to win the women's 200 back. Putra (2:17.82) and Bertsch (2:19.97) completed the top three. Hosszu was actually faster in prelims with a 2:10.37.
Germany swept the 200 free as Paul Biedermann charted a time of 1:46.55 in the men's event for the win, while France's Benoit Debast took second in 1:48.52. Mauritius' Mathieu Marquet snared third-place honors in 1:54.34. Biedermann basically cruised the entire race as he did not require his usual top-end speed represented by a third-ranked 1:42.07 from short course worlds earlier this month.
France's Camille Lacourt crushed the field in the men's 50 back with a 24.20, while compatriot's Florent Hassambay (26.15) and Thomas Avetand (26.66) finished second and third. France's Maxime Bussiere claimed the men's 100 breast in 1:02.18, while Mauritius' Darren Chan Chin Wah touched second in 1:04.71. France's Kevin Toulet earned third-place honors in 1:07.35.
France's Ambroise Petit claimed the men's 400 IM crown in 4:29.91, while Thomas Avetand (4:33.05) and Mathieu Bachmann (4:40.57) took second and third. Hassambay countered in the men's 100 fly with a 55.45 for the win, while Kevin Lucian (56.90) and Julien Bayle (56.94) finished second and third, then followed that up with a 2:07.16 to win the men's 200 back. Allan Bobe (2:09.81) and Bachmann (2:13.06) took second and third.