BUDAPEST, Hungary, July 25. THE start lists for the European long course swimming championships haven’t been released yet, but Katinka Hosszu is letting her competitors know that they will be seeing a lot of the Hungarian Iron Lady when the meet starts in Berlin August 18.
Hosszu is set to swim a staggering 10 individual events during the seven-day meet, up from the seven she swam at last year’s world championships. Competing in multiple events is nothing new for her, as it seems she won’t race in a meet unless she can do almost every event on the schedule. In addition to the 200 IM and 400 IM — the events in which she claimed world titles last summer — she’s slated for the 100, 200 and 400 freestyles; the 50, 100 and 200 backstrokes; and the 100 and 200 butterfly events in Berlin.
Shane Tusup, Hosszu’s husband/coach/manager said the schedule in Berlin worked out for Hosszu to attempt the feat, and the Hungarian has serious potential medal hopefuls in many of them. She’s won the 200 fly and 200 IM at the past two long course Europeans in 2010 and 2012, and was the 2012 champion in the 400 IM. In 2010, she was second in the 400 IM to Great Britain’s Hannah Miley, who might or might not compete in the European championships after the Commonwealth Games.
In the current world rankings, she’s not the top European in any event, but her status as the reigning world champion in two of them and a medalist in the 200 fly gives her a boost there. She’s been working on her backstroke and is ranked high in those. Her biggest challenges will come in the freestyle events, where Sarah Sjostrom reigns in the 100 and 200 freestyles, while Mireia Belmonte and Federica Pellegrini stand in her way in the 400 free. Sjostrom is the heavy favorite in the 100 fly, while Belmonte and Hungarian teammate Evelyn Verraszto will be the challengers.
Three women hold the record for the most medals won at a single long course European championships. Franziska Van Almsick (1993), Inge Dekker (2008) and Therese Alshammar (2010) each won five medals in one meet. Can Hosszu meet or exceed that tally?