Michael who? Hungary’s Hosszu dominates Grand Prix with Phelps-like run
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu logged a lot of laps and swam in a lot of races over three days at the Charlotte Grand Prix.
Hosszu didn’t feel worn out, not after turning in one of the most successful weekends of her swimming career.
Hosszu added to her medal count on the final day of the meet, winning the women’s’ 200-meter individual medley and 200 backstroke titles Sunday night.
Hosszu finished the four-day event with six wins in seven events. She won the women’s 200 freestyle and 400 individual medley Friday and the 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke Saturday.
"First off, why not?" Hosszu said. "I’m focusing on the 400 IM … and these events help each other. If I can get better in the 200 freestyle or 400 freestyle, then I can finish the 400 IM better.
"Another thing is I love to race. For me, it’s fun to get up there and try to do my best. Of course, I’m not going to be able to always win, but I’m going to try."
Also Sunday, Denmark’s Lotte Friis took the women’s 800 freestyle, Brazil’s Thiago Pereira won the men’s 200 individual medley, Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin the men’s 200 backstroke, Allison Schmitt of the U.S. the women’s 100 freestyle, Anthony Ervin of the U.S. and France’s Yannick Agnel tied in the men’s 100 freestyle, and Connor Jaeger of the U.S. won the men’s 1,500 freestyle. The host team SwimMAC team swept the men’s and women’s 400 medley relay titles.
While Michael Phelps attracted most of the attention, Hosszu turned in the meet’s best overall performance.
The 2013 world champion in the 200 individual medley, Hosszu easily won that event Sunday with a time of 2 minutes, 10.80 seconds, more than 2\ seconds ahead of U.S. teenager Kathleen Baker.
The 25-year-old Hosszu completed her weekend with a closer win in the 200 backstroke, with her time of 2:10.12 more than 1\ seconds better than Megan Romano of the United States.
"I’m feeling OK right now," Hosszu said. "I thought I’d feel pretty bad after the 200 (backstroke), but I’m feeling a lot better now. I actually felt worse (Saturday), but I felt pretty good after my races today."
The six event wins moved Hosszu from fourth to first in USA Swimming’s Grand Prix Series standings, with one event remaining — at Santa Clara, California on June 19-22. But Hosszu said she won’t be there.
"I’m going to be in Europe the rest of the year," Hosszu said. "My big goal wasn’t to win the Grand Prix Series. I’m focusing on the European Championships in Berlin in August. After that, there’s the world championships (in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 3-7), then Rio (for the 2016 Olympics).
"My coach (Shane Tusup) and I created this plan after the London Olympics. We’ve started planning after Rio as well, but we have a concrete plan in place up to then."
Jaeger won his third event title at the meet, taking the men’s 800 freestyle in 15:11.46, more than 11 seconds ahead of Michael Klueh of the U.S. Jaeger also won the men’s 800 freestyle and 400 freestyle titles.
Friis, who won the women’s 1,500 freestyle Thursday, won the 800 freestyle in 16:07.14.
Vyatchanin, who recently moved to the United States to train, won his second event of the weekend by taking the men’s 200 backstroke. His had a time of 1:55.33.
Ervin and Agnel tied in the men’s 100 freestyle final at 49.51.