7 gold medals

Hun­gar­ian star dom­i­nates world swim­ming championships

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

Katinka Hosszu brought the cur­tain down on a week of dom­i­nance at the short course world swim­ming championships on Sun­day by clinch­ing her sev­enth gold medal of the meet.

The Hun­gar­ian star — af­fec­tion­ately known as the “Iron Lady” — surged to vic­tory in the 100m but­ter­fly to cap a su­perb cam­paign at the championships in Wind­sor, Canada.

Hosszu clocked 55.12sec, tak­ing gold ahead of Kelsi Wor­rell of the United States (55.22) and Ja­pan’s Rikako Ikee 55.64.

The 27-year-old Hosszu had al­ready stamped her class on the championships with wins in the 100m, 200m and 400m med­ley, as well as the 200m but­ter­fly and 100m and 200m back­stroke.

Sun­day’s fi­nal win at the WFCU Cen­tre com­pleted a phe­nom­e­nal 2016 for Hosszu, who also lit up the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with three gold medals.

There was also more gold for South Korea’s Park Tae­hwan, who added the 1,500m ti­tle to the 200m and 400m crowns he won ear­lier in the week.

The win en­sured Park fin­ishes the year on a tri­umphant note after a tu­mul­tuous sea­son that saw him bat­tle to com­pete in Rio after serv­ing a drugs ban, only to come away from Brazil empty-handed.

Park fin­ished well clear of his ri­vals in 14:15.51, ahead of Italy’s Gre­go­rio Pal­trinieri, who clocked 14:21.94 for sil­ver and Poland’s Wo­j­ciech Wo­j­dak, who took bronze in 14:25.37.

For Park, triple gold would have tasted ex­tra sweet fol­low­ing his dis­ap­point­ing form at the Rio Games in Au­gust, when he won a late bat­tle to com­pete after ap­peal­ing his dop­ing ban.

Park, who be­came the first Korean to claim an Olympic swim­ming medal when he won the 400 freestyle in Bei­jing in 2008, com­pleted an 18-month ban im­posed by world gov­ern­ing body FINA in March after test­ing pos­i­tive for testos­terone ahead of the 2014 Asian Games.

Un­der a con­tro­ver­sial Korean Olympic Com­mit­tee reg­u­la­tion, he was then hit with an ad­di­tional three-year ban from the na­tional team on the day the FINA sus­pen­sion ex­pired.

That would have ruled him out of con­tention for Rio, but the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport cleared him to com­pete at the Olympics.

How­ever, the Korean strug­gled in Rio, mainly due to in­suf­fi­cient train­ing.

Park failed to qual­ify from the heats for the 100, 200 and 400, then pulled out of the 1,500 in what would have been his fi­nal event at the Games.

Else­where on Sun­day, South Africa’s 2012 Olympic breast­stroke cham­pion, Cameron van der Burgh, won gold in the 50m dis­ci­pline. She took the ti­tle in 25.64sec, fin­ish­ing ahead of Peter Stevens of Slove­nia (25.85) and Brazil’s Felipe Lima (25.98).

There was more dis­ap­point­ment for US teenager Lilly King, who fin­ished out­side the medals in the 200m breast­stroke. She is one of the ris­ing stars of US swim­ming after win­ning gold in the 100m breast­stroke at the Rio Olympics.

Touted for gold in the 100m on Satur­day, King fin­ished fourth in a race won by Bri­tain’s Molly Ren­shaw, who clocked 2:18.51.

Canada’s Lau­ren Wog took sil­ver in 2:18.52 while another Bri­ton, Chole Tut­ton, won bronze with a time of 2:18.83.

Mean­while, triple Olympic cham­pion Ranomi Kro­mowid­jojo won gold in the 50m freestyle.

The Dutch sprinter, win­ner of Olympic gold in the 4x100m freestyle re­lay at the 2008 Games be­fore a 50m/100m dou­ble in Lon­don four years later, took first in 23.60sec.

Italy’s Sil­via Di Pi­etro won sil­ver in 23.90 with Madi­son Kennedy of the US tak­ing bronze in 23.93.

GRE­GORY SHAMUS / GETTY IMAGES / AFP

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary cel­e­brates her vic­tory in Sun­day’s 100m but­ter­fly fi­nal at the FINA short course world championships in Wind­sor, Canada.

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