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Swimming, Day 8 - Women's 400m individual medley: Hosszu wins second Barcelona gold
Katinka Hosszu (HUN) claimed her second gold medal of the FINA World Championships when she added the 400m individual medley title to the 200m IM she won on Day 2 in the pool. Hosszu, who had won the 400 IM in 2009, reclaimed the crown in style, leading throughout, inside world record pace until the concluding freestyle leg.
Fourth in the 400 IM at the 2012 London Olympics, Hosszu won the world crown in 4:30.41, holding off a stirring challenge from home favourite Mireia Belmonte (ESP), who could not catch the Hungarian on the freestyle and took the silver in 4:31.21. It was the third medal for each swimmer in the same three events, Hosszu bagging gold in the 200 and 400m IM and bronze in the 200m butterfly and Belmonte collecting silver in the 200m butterfly and 400 IM and bronze in the 200m IM. Elizabeth Beisel (USA), the defending 400 IM world champion and Olympic silver medallist, claimed the bronze in 4:31.69.
Double Olympic champion Shiwen Ye (CHN), who had ceded to Hosszu the 200 IM world crown she had won at 15 at the 2011 Shanghai Worlds, once again finished outside the medals. Ye, who won both Olympic IM titles at the 2012 Olympics, came fourth in the 200 event but fared worse in the 400m. She clocked 4:38.51 for seventh place, way outside the 4:28.43 world mark she set in London. Hannah Miley (GBR), silver medallist at the 2011 Worlds, was fifth in 4:34.16.
World Record: Shiwen Ye (CHN), 4:28.43 – July 28, 2012 in London (GBR)
Championships Record: Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 4:30.31 – August 2, 2009 in Rome (ITA)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Katinka Hosszu (HUN), 4:30.41 – August 4, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Yana Klochkova (UKR, 4:36.74); 2005 – Katie Hoff (USA, 4:36.07); 2007 – Katie Hoff (USA, 4:32.89); 2009 – Katinka Hosszu (HUN, 4:30.31); 2011 – Elizabeth Beisel (USA, 4:31.78)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Yana Klochkova (UKR, 2001 & 2003), Katie Hoff (USA, 2005 & 2007) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN, 2009 & 2013)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Shiwen Ye (CHN, 4:28.43), 2. Elizabeth Beisel (USA, 4:31.27), 3. Xuanxu Li (CHN, 4:32.91)
Gold medal winner: Katinka Hosszu (HUN)
On reaction at finish: "It was both physical and emotional, I felt tired physically so I wasn't able to celebrate, I had no more energy, I was just happy to touch the wall and come first, it was a pretty tough race."
"After the Olympics, I changed everything in my training, I went back to Hungary and I've been racing a lot in the past year, which definitely got me involved better in the 400 IM."
"This year, I mostly prepared for the 400 IM, I did pretty well in my other events as well, I was proud to be in the final of the 200m breast which I just picked up this year."
On Spanish crowd cheering on Belmonte: "I just tried to think that the cheering was for me, I knew that it was a Spanish crowd and that the cheering was for her but it really helped me."
Silver medal winner: Mireia Belmonte Garcia (ESP)
"I'm very happy with my performance at these Championships, I started badly because I was tired but in the last days I recovered and in the end I won three medals so I'm happy."
"This year I trained mostly the freestyle and butterfly but my best results were in the medley races, you can't predict anything."
Bronze medal winner: Elizabeth Beisel (USA)
"I did not expect this time and obviously I'm pleased to win this medal."
On women shining more than men in Barcelona: "It gives women more recognition in the sport of swimming, it's exciting to see women do really well in this meet."
"The fans here were amazing, it's probably the best crowd that I've ever seen, it's comparable to the one in Rome 4 years ago."