MONTREAL, Canada, Dec 11 – Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu powered to her sixth gold medal at the Short Course World Swimming Championships with another dominant display in her all-conquering year.
Swimming’s “Iron Lady” — a star of the Rio Olympics where she won three gold medals — on Saturday finished more than two seconds clear of her nearest rival to claim the 200m individual medley crown.
The 27-year-old had already lit up the championships in Windsor, Ontario with victories in the 100m medley, 400m medley, 200m butterfly and both the 100m and 200m backstrokes.
On Saturday she added to her haul, leading from start to finish to come home in 2min 2.9sec, ahead of Ella Eastin of the United States, who touched in 2:05.02.
Another American, Madisyn Cox, took bronze in 2:05.93.
But Hosszu was denied the opportunity to claim a seventh gold medal later on Saturday when she was pipped for first place by Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros in the final of the 50m backstroke.
Medeiros, the world record holder over the distance, produced a late spurt to edge out Hosszu in 25.82sec, with the Hungarian claiming silver in 25.99. Alexandra Margaret De Loof of the United States took bronze in 26.14.
Elsewhere Saturday, South Africa’s Chad le Clos continued his successful meet with his third gold of the championships in the 50m butterfly.
Le Clos, who had smashed his own world record to claim gold in the 100m butterfly on Thursday, was once again too hot for the competition.
The 24-year-old from Durban hit the wall in 21.98sec, almost half a second faster than American Tom Shields, who took silver in 22.40. Australia’s David Morgan won bronze in 22.47.
But there was an upset for teenager Lilly King, the Olympic champion, who suffered a surprise defeat in the 100m breaststroke against Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson. Atkinson, the world record holder, finished in 1:03.03, with King just behind in 1:03.35.
In the men’s 400m medley, Japan’s Daiya Seto made it a hat-trick of world titles with another commanding performance in the event he has dominated over the past four years.
Seto, gold medallist in the multi-stroke discipline at both the 2012 and 2014 short course championships, claimed his third consecutive title to finish in 3:59.24.
Britain’s Max Litchfield won silver in 4:00.66 while Hungary’s David Verraszto took bronze with a time of 4:01.56.
Russia, whose men had claimed gold in the 4×50 freestyle on Friday, again demonstrated their relay power to take victory in the 4×50 medley relay.
The Russian quartet of Andrei Shabasov, Kirill Prigoda, Aleksandr Popkov and Vladimir Morozov finished in 1:31.52, just ahead of the United States and Belarus.
The biggest cheer of the night came in the final event, where Canada’s women’s 4x200m relay quartet claimed a popular gold ahead of the United States. Russia took bronze.