2019 FINA World Championships Predictions: Katinka Hosszu Aiming For Fourth Straight World Title in 200 IM

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Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, winner of the last three World titles in the women’s 200 IM, is going for a fourth gold medal this summer at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju. Hosszu has not lost a 200 IM major final since finishing eighth at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In 2018, she was only a 2:10 at Europeans but has since gotten back to her 2017 self as she has the top time in the world this year with a 2:08.28. Hosszu is one of just two swimmers to break 2:09 as Canada’s Sydney Pickrem (2:08.61) swam a best time at the FINA Champions Series in Indianapolis.

Pickrem was actually leading Hosszu in that race in Indianapolis through 175 meters before Hosszu ran her down. Pickrem will also be looking for a bit of revenge after not finishing the 200 IM in Budapest because she choked on water in the butterfly portion of the final. She rebounded later in the week to win a bronze in the 400 IM, but Pickrem will be looking to redeem herself in Gwangju. Pickrem finished her college career at Texas A&M this year and is now fully focused on her specialty in long course swimming.

2017 silver medalist Yui Ohashi from Japan had the fastest time in the world in 2018 out of the four major international meets. Ohashi will get a chance to take on Hosszu head to head for the first time this year. Ohashi is one of a handful of Asian swimmers that have a shot at a medal in this event.

2012 Olympic Champion Ye Shiwen, who has reemerged as a contender in this event, is currently fourth in the world rankings with a 2:09.24, her fastest time in five years. Ye did not swim the 200 IM at the 2018 Asian Games and did not make it out of semifinals in the 2017 Worlds. Ye has a chance to win a medal in this event for the first time since winning the 2014 Asian Games.

Japan’s Rika Omoto and Korea’s Kim Seoyeong currently sit fifth and seventh in the world rankings. Six women have been a 2:09 this year so the silver and bronze medals look to be up for grabs. Kim was second at the Asian Games last summer behind Ohashi and was also sixth in Budapest two years ago. Kim will have the luxury of swimming in front of her home country. Korea has never won a medal at the World Championships on the women’s side and Kim is in a perfect place to do so.

The United States will have Melanie Margalis and Ella Eastin swimming this event at the Worlds and they could also factor into the medals. Eastin is making her World Championships debut just a few weeks after her 200 IM silver medal at the World University Games.

Current Records:

World Record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu, HUN – 2015
Championships Record: 2:06.12, Katinka Hosszu, HUN – 2015
American Record: 2:06.15, Ariana Kukors, USA – 2009

2017 World Champion: Katinka Hosszu, HUN – 2:07.00
2018 Virtual World Champion: Yui Ohashi, JPN – 2:08.16 (Pan Pacs)
2019 Fastest Times:

  1. 2:08.28, Katinka Hosszu, HUN
  2. 2:08.61, Sydney Pickrem, CAN
  3. 2:09.14, Yui Ohashi, JPN
  4. 2:09.24, Ye Shiwen, CHN
  5. 2:09.73, Rika Omoto, JPN
  6. 2:09.94, Kaylee McKeown, AUS
  7. 2:09.97, Kim Seoyeong, KOR
  8. 2:10.34, Siobhan O’Connor, GBR

Swimming World’s team of Andy RossDan D’AddonaDavid RiederDiana Pimer and Taylor Covington will be selecting their medalists for the World Championships in each event. Read below who everybody picked.

Andy’s Picks:

  1. Katinka Hosszu
  2. Sydney Pickrem
  3. Kim Seoyeong

Dan’s Picks:

  1. Katinka Hosszu
  2. Sydney Pickrem
  3. Yui Ohashi

David’s Picks:

  1. Katinka Hosszu
  2. Yui Ohashi
  3. Sydney Pickrem

Diana’s Picks:

  1. Katinka Hosszu
  2. Sydney Pickrem
  3. Ye Shiwen

Taylor’s Picks:

  1. Katinka Hosszu
  2. Yui Ohashi
  3. Kim Seoyeong

2019 FINA World Championships Predictions:

Day 1:

Day 2: