Ashley Newman, FINA Press Correspondent from Great Britain

Olympic champion and world record holder Katinka Hosszu revealed in the opening press conference of the fifth leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup that she keeps her substantial medal collection in buckets.

While Hosszu was unaware before her arrival in Berlin that this weekend could mark her 300th World Cup victory since 2012, she told reporters that she stores them in protein buckets as she doesn’t want to see them all until she ends her career.

“I had no idea [it would be 300 wins]. That’s really crazy. As of right now, I store them [my medals] in buckets. Like protein buckets. But once I stop I definitely want to see them all together to realise what happened but as of right now I consciously don’t want to see them. I’m always trying to look ahead and try to get better, and try to reach my goals. It will be fun to see at the end of my career.” Katinka Hosszu

Hosszu was joined by fellow elite swimmers Vladimir Morozov from Russia, Dutch star Ranomi Kromowidjojo, USA’s Micheal Andrew and home favourite Florian Wellbrock, along with up and coming German hopeful Anna Elendt.

While the $150,000 prize money was on some of their minds – Andrew in particular stating he would pay off his new house with a potential win – the talk was also of the move to make swimming a more professional sport which Hosszu was keen to be a part of.

“Right now there are a lot of changes in swimming. Hopefully we are moving into an even more professional way of the sport and I’m pretty happy to be a part of it, and maybe one of the swimmers who really was an example. To show swimmers that yes, we can gain a lot of prize money. Gaining enough money to really be professionals and then really have a perspective on being swimmers and having a great swimming career. So for me at this point of my career that’s more important to see swimming as a whole changing.” Katinka Hosszu

Kromowidjojo echoed Hosszu’s comments while also pointing out professionalism as being one of the reasons for the trend in older swimmers still competing into their thirties.

“When you can earn more money it’s easier to continue with your swimming career instead of working. For me personally, I really love swimming, I enjoy swimming, I enjoy this life. Financially I can live the life I live and I’m still improving. I’m 29 now and still learning a lot and most importantly having a lot of fun.” Ranomi Kromowidjojo

Wellbrock will also be having some fun this weekend competing in his home country and in the pool which is less than two hours from his hometown of Magdeburg.

“It’s really cool. Berlin is like my second hometown as it’s not far away. I like it. Pool competition is really important for the Olympics so I think this is the best way to start the Olympic season. I think everybody is thinking about the Olympics now and nothing more.” Florian Wellbrock

While Wellbrock is right in thinking that athletes competing in Berlin have their sights set firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Russian Morozov is indeed thinking of more, with this leg of the Swimming World Cup helping him to potentially achieve a hat-trick of World Cup overall wins.

“The Swimming World Cup is pretty important. It’s a one of a kind competition that we have and it’s pretty difficult to do but this will be the third time that I do this for myself, and the third time for Russia, so that will be great. I think that’s more of a statement before the Olympic Games if I’m able to do that.” Vladimir Morozov

Hosszu begins her chase for her 300th victory and her World Cup campaign on the first day of competition in the 200 butterfly, on Friday 11 October at Berlin’s Schwimm and Sprunghalle in the Europasportpark. Follow her and the rest of the elite field also on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October live on FINA TV.