PHOENIX, Arizona, November 20. KATINKA Hosszu only had a few days between recovering from the FINA World Cup and preparing for the European championships, and she joins today's edition of The Morning Swim Show to discuss her busy fall season.
Hosszu relives the experience of the World Cup circuit, from her thoughts on racing multiple times in each meet to winning the $100,000 overall grand prize. She also talks about the World Cup prepared her to race at this week's European championships and next month's short course world championships, as well as next year's long course world championships. In addition, she talks about her training plans for 2013, and how she felt about finishing fourth in the 400 IM at the Olympics. Be sure to visit SwimmingWorld.TV for more video interviews.
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Jeff Commings: This is the Morning Swim Show for Tuesday, November 20th, 2012. I am your host Jeff Commings. Today in the FINIS Monitor is Katinka Hosszu, who just wrapped up a very successful 6 weeks traveling the world competing in the FINA World Cup. She won 39 races and collected more than $60,000 in race winnings in addition to winning the overall grand prize of $100,000. Katinka joins us now in the FINIS Monitor from Baja, Hungary. Hi Katinka. How are you today?
Katinka Hosszu: Hi. I am good. Thank you. How are you?
Jeff: I am doing great. You must be doing very well. We see that a large check behind you that they gave you for winning the FINA World Cup, congratulations.
Katinka: Thank you.
Jeff: When they gave you that obviously you know you had to bring it with you on the plane, was that kind of a hassle to have that travel with you?
Katinka: Well actually Shane brought it with us. Actually I wanted to leave it at the hotel I thought it was a little too big to carry but I guess we were able to go through security, but they took us for some special test, but they let it in.
Jeff: Well that is very cool. So as we mentioned you won about $160,000 in the World Cup over 8 meets, 6 weeks. When you started this meet, when you had plans to swim in it did you ever think you would walk away with this much money?
Katinka: No, I actually never thought that I am going to be able to win this many races. I actually just went to the World Cups to do as training. After the Olympics I went to do something different, something more exciting than just being at home and training so that is why I swam so many races and basically that was my training for the fall.
Jeff: Yeah that is a lot of training. I think some of these meets you were swimming like 7 to 8 races and how do you get yourself to recover between each race when you got like 10, 15 minutes between?
Katinka: It was pretty tough actually, but I think I learned a lot. I tried not to think about my next race although it was really hard not to think about that I, for example have another three races to go after my first one, but I think I learned a lot how to deal with it and how to get ready mentally for the next race in like 10 minutes. I just tried to think every time that I am fresh and tried not to think about how much my legs hurt and such.
Jeff: Well I would imagine swimming in college kind of helped you with that. I mean some of the dual meets you would have when you were at USC you would have to do a lot of races where you have to do a lot of them back to back.
Katinka: Yeah, definitely that helped a lot and same with NCAA's. We had so many races and you know like it was so fast in the morning and then we also had to get up and really go for finals and then we had all the relays to go and you know you can't let your teammates so you always had to do your best and yeah that definitely helped a lot.
Jeff: I bet it would also help that you had your Hungarian teammate Zsuzsanna Jakabos there with you kind of pushing you along the way a lot of those races. Did that, was that a kind of I guess a big motivator for you having her there with you?
Katinka: Yeah, I mean it is always good to have Hungarians with me and you know last which I was at the beginning sort of first 5 stops and we had [others] so we had some Hungarians together and this kind of had like a little team I guess, but definitely it was good to race her and I think we pushed each other definitely.
Jeff: Well, what would you say was the biggest challenge for you to not only swim faster at all these meets but kind of just keep your mental sanity as you are traveling around the world?
Katinka: I think the hardest part was actually traveling. I had some issues with my plane tickets after like the third stop and that was definitely hard you know when you realize like your flight was canceled or it is delayed and you know that you only have one day to recover and that you have a race the next day and you are stuck at the airport it is kind of tough, but I was carrying my phone all through the airport and tried to recover there and it was probably the toughest part.
Jeff: Of all the 8 meets which one would you say was the best one for you?
Katinka: That is a good question. I don't know, well in Dubai it was good because that was the first stop and I didn't actually think I will be able to swim that many races that fast and that definitely gave me a lot of satisfaction and probably after that I really like the Stockholm one. I was really happy with my times and then in Singapore, that was the end of it, so that is definitely I remember.
Jeff: Well and you remember getting the big check and knowing you were going to be taking it home all that money.
Katinka: Well yeah, I actually after the meet I always felt a little bit tired and always felt a little sluggish and after my last race in Singapore, I just got so, so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open, so I was actually kind of not as excited as I thought I will be, but I definitely felt it the next morning. I was really excited.
Jeff: Well not much rest for you in a few days you are going to be swimming in the European championships and then you are going to be going to world championships correct?
Katinka: Yeah, that is correct. It is – this fall there is a lot of racing.
Jeff: And then after that, what are your plans for 2013?
Katinka: For 2013 we are looking at Barcelona long course world championships. That is definitely going to be the goal to swim the fastest there.
Jeff: Going through all of these world cup meets and training to swim fast in Europeans and World Championships, what has that helped you do better as a swimmer?
Katinka: I think World Cups were really good for basically practicing racing situations like turns and starts, underwaters, breakouts all these things that I, you know I can practice during training but I am not going this fast and I am not just racing, I am in training more, that is a little different so every time I get really tired, I go back to my old turns that are really slow and my starts when I get tired are getting slower and slower. So being in a racing situation and practicing these technical things I think the most that was really beneficial for me.
Jeff: How did your 4th place finish in the 400 IM at the Olympics motivate you for what you have been able to do so far this fall?
Katinka: Well honestly my 4th place at the Olympics, I thought I trained harder than a 4.33. I was at the 4:32 in March already in long course so I thought for the summer I am going to be faster than that and that didn't actually come out so, these World Cups I feel like gave a little more confidence in me after the Olympics so that definitely helped me to look forward and keep training hard.
Jeff: And I would imagine your goal now is to go faster in that 4:32 maybe do that 4:30 which you know with Yi Shiwen and Elizabeth Beisel out there right now, it is probably what you are going to have to be going to be next year at Worlds.
Katinka: Yeah, I am really looking forward to swim some best times long course so I have been swimming well in short course but the summer is having been so good for me so I am looking for best times long course.
Jeff: And will you be coming back to Los Angeles to train with Dave Salo or will you stay in Hungary for 2013?
Katinka: I feel like I am going to be based out of Hungary. I feel like I need to be in Hungary and be here, be in the media. I am definitely going to be going to a few training camps but yeah I am going to be here.
Jeff: Well I am sure Hungary is going to be very happy to see you walking along the street. I guess you are kind of now their new National Hero in a long line of big time national heroes in swimming.
Katinka: Yeah. I think they are excited. You know seeing all the little kids and they are looking up to me. They definitely motivate me here.
Jeff: Well that is great to hear Katinka. Congratulations again on all your World Cup success. We will be looking for you at the Europeans and Worlds and short course worlds and then next year at World Championships.
Katinka: Thank you so much.
Jeff: All right we will see you down the road.
Katinka: Thank you.
Jeff: So that is Katinka Hosszu one of the richest swimmers of 2012 and that is going to do it for this Mornings Swim Show. Be sure to follow us at SwimmingWorld.com on Facebook or on Twitter for all the latest news. I am Jeff Commings. Thanks for watching.
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