Dominant Katinka Hosszu douses her rivals at Victoria Park to claim a second 10-gold haul in Hong Kong
Hungary’s Olympic champion only misses out in the 100m freestyle but her efforts ensure she wins all nine events in this year’s Fina World Series
It was a near-perfect 10 for multi-Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu as the Hungarian swimmer equalled her own gold medal haul at the World Cup series Hong Kong leg.
After setting a dizzying standard of 10 gold medals in Hong Kong two years ago, the 27-year-old – who captured three golds and one silver at the Rio Games this summer – repeated that amazing feat at Victoria Park Swimming Pool on Sunday.
Nicknamed the “Iron Lady” of the pool, Hosszu fully lived up to her reputation when clinching gold in the 100-metre backstroke, 200-metre butterfly, 400-metre freestyle, 100-metre individual medley and 400-metre individual medley on the second day of the meet.
The 100-backstroke and 200-metre butterfly were separated by a just 10-minute interval while there was a 20-minute break between the 400-metre and 100-metre medley.
The only event in which she missed the target was in the 100-metre freestyle, where she came second behind Jeanette Ottesen, of Denmark. Hosszu also won five golds on the opening day.
The nine-stop short course world tour began in late August after the Rio Olympics under three regional clusters with the Hong Kong as the final stop.
This year was the first time Hosszu competed in all nine stops, winning every leg. She had already clinched the overall title before the Hong Kong leg, earning prize money of US$300,000.
Hosszu has held the title since 2012.
“It has been a long tour with a lot of stops but I was able to keep it together,” said Hosszu.
“I am just really excited as I was able to win the overall title for the fifth year in a row. I don’t think anyone has done it before as this is something really crazy.
“I think this is my 40th stop since 2012 and it has been a lot of racing but in some ways it seems it just started. The important thing is I definitely enjoy racing, being here and swimming.”
Despite her hectic schedule over the past two months, the champion is not taking a break and must return home on Wednesday to prepare for the world championships (short course) in Canada in December.
Hong Kong’s Chan Kin-lok also enjoyed a successful nine-stop tour, winning a bronze medal in the 200-metre butterfly in Moscow in September and setting a Hong Kong record in the same event in Doha in October. She claimed another Hong Kong record in the 100-metre butterfly in front of home fans on Saturday.
She also won three mixed relay bronze medals for Hong Kong, including the 4x50 metre freestyle on Sunday with teammate Cheung Kin-tat, who bagged a total four bronze medals in the relays.