7 gold medals
Hungarian star dominates world swimming championships
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.
Katinka Hosszu of Hungary celebrates her victory in Sunday’s 100m butterfly final at the FINA short course world championships in Windsor, Canada.