The Battle of the Century: Hosszu vs. O’Connor in 200 IM at European Championships

Photo courtesy Mike Comer/

Each day through August 17, Swimming World’s Jeff Commings and David Rieder will offer medal predictions in the 19 swimming events on tap at the European Championships, which begins August 18 in Berlin, Germany. We invite you to offer your picks in our Reaction Time comments section below!

Commentary by David Rieder

IRVINE, California, August 10. THE women’s 200 IM at the European Championships could be one of the most exciting events of the competition, with the news that Great Britain’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor will be attending the meet. The teenager broke out at the Commonwealth Games when she dropped a 2:08.21 in the event, and though she could have called it a season after her swims in Glasgow, she’s using Europeans as another opportunity to improve.

O’Connor will face off with reigning World Champion Katinka Hosszu, who last year dominated the field in Barcelona with a 2:07.92. Other Europeans in last year’s final included Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia – the bronze medalist in that race – along with Hosszu’s countrywoman Zsuzsanna Jakobos and Britain’s Sophie Allen.

Evelyn Verraszto and Aimee Willmott could battle to knock their teammates out of finals, while Austria’s Lisa Zaiser could be an interesting darkhorse. Also watch for the Netherlands’ Femke Heemskerk, who ranks third in the world at 2:10.21, but Heemskerk has had much more success in the freestyle events throughout her career and might focus on those in Berlin.

Women’s 200 IM medal predictions
Katinka Hosszu, Hungary
Silver: Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, Great Britain
Bronze: Mireia Belmonte Garcia, Spain

The depth suffers in the men’s event, where Europe had just two finalists at last year’s World Championships and only five swimmers ranking in the top 20 in the world this year. However, the event will feature the greatest 200 IMer in history that has never won the event at an Olympics or World Championships. Laszlo Cseh has finished behind Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the event so many times; combining World Championships and Olympics, Cseh has earned three silvers and four bronzes in this event since 2004.

With the battle looking like one for silver and bronze, Germany’s Marcus Deibler is a strong contender, as his 1:58.00 ranks first in Europe so far this year. He finished ninth at last year’s Worlds, one spot behind Sweden’s Simon Sjodin. Great Britain’s Roberto Pavoni and Portugal’s Diogo Carvalho also finished in the top-16 last summer in Barcelona, while Spain’s Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez and Britain’s Joe Roebuck also rank among the world top-20. Solache-Gomez trains at the University of Florida and could continue the strong summer that Gregg Troy’s foreign squad is having in 2014.

Men’s 200 IM medal predictions
Gold :
Laszlo Cseh, Hungary
Silver: Marcus Deibler, Germany
Bronze: Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Spain

Previous European championships medal predictions:

100 freestyle

400 individual medley

50 freestyle

100 backstroke

200 butterfly

50 breaststroke

400 medley relay
200 freestyle

200 breaststroke

50 backstroke

100 butterfly

800 freestyle relay



  1. avatar
    Scott Morgan

    While I appreciate the impetus for predictions of upcoming meets by your knowledgeable writers and experts, I wonder about the efficacy of such articles: there have been a lot of this at Swimming World recently. I think a simple list format article that includes the predictions of all your main editorial voices side-by-side in a single article would be more useful and entertaining than the ongoing series of univocal predictions. It would also welcome the reader to chime in.

    But then there is this piece: one that perhaps best exemplifies my concern. Here we get the laughably hyberbolic overstatement of the title–one that almost demands the reader take it as irony–and then hardly a single word of further analysis beyond a summary of the years top ranked swimmers. If this matchup between two albeit incredible swimmers would even be the “Battle of the European Championships”–a large claim in itself–there would still have to be some sort of argument or evidence for such an assertion.

    Here we get the boldest (most ridiculous) of titles, and then next to nothing in content. Swimming World’s recent prediction articles do not rise to the editorial standards I have come to expect (an continue to appreciate) from your fine magazine.

    • avatar
      Jeff Commings

      Hi, Scott. Thanks for your comment.

      As they say, hindsight is 20/20, and I agree that the headline goes way too far. My apologies for that. In my mind, I was thinking how this race could bring together two fast swimmers and produce an amazing time. You’re right that I didn’t mention that in the article.

      The reason behind daily medal prediction articles for these meets comes from previously doing a one-day or two-day piece of medal picks for an entire meet. The article itself read a little too long for the Internet, so we figured breaking them up would work better — and get our readers excited about a meet a little further in advance.

      We’re about to post a series of articles previewing Pan Pacs, but since the meet is less than two weeks away, we are condensing our series. Perhaps the way we roll out our medal picks for Pan Pacs is a better way to do it, and I hope you’ll let us know what you think.

Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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