Mon, Jul 29, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Hosszu on target for medley win

‘IRON LADY’:Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, who first won gold in the 400m individual medley a decade ago, came home ahead of Japan’s Yu Ohashi and China’s Ye Shiwen

Reuters, GWANGJU, South Korea

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu competes in a heat of the World Championships women’s 400m individual medley at the Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center in Gwangju, South Korea, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu moved a step closer to becoming the first woman to win five world titles in a single event after qualifying fastest for the 400m individual medley in yesterday’s heats.

The “Iron Lady,” who won her first gold medal in the event a decade ago in Rome, came home in 4 minutes, 35.40 seconds, ahead of Japan’s Yu Ohashi and China’s Ye Shiwen.

The 30-year-old world record holder and Olympic champion won her fourth straight 200m medley title on Monday last week and was to return to the pool for the final later yesterday, the final day of the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Japan’s Daiya Seto, who on Thursday last week won the 200m, also stayed on course for a medley double after going through the 400m heats quickest, ahead of Arjan Knipping of the Netherlands and Jay Litherland of the US.

Knipping was surprised by his ranking after the heats.

“I didn’t actually qualify for the worlds with the qualification time, so they just sent me on the progression I made,” Knipping said. “Now I am second in the heats, so it’s a really a big surprise for me.”

However, defending champion Chase Kalisz of the US missed out, finishing 10th fastest.

Caeleb Dressel was likely to get the chance to go for a seventh gold medal in Gwangju, repeating the feat from two years ago in Budapest, after the US 4x100m medley relay team went through to the final.

Dressel was expected to join the team for the butterfly leg, but it was to be a tough fight for the US, with Russia going fastest in the heats.

Britain were also expected to be a threat with Olympic breaststroke champion Adam Peaty set to come in for the final.

Duncan Scott, who swam the anchor leg for Britain, said it had been a challenge just to make the final, given the depth of quality in the event.

“So many different countries are able to string together some competitive teams, so it was going to be really, really tough to make it back,” he said. “So we have done our job — we are fourth through to the final.”

In the women’s event, the US posted the fastest time in the heats, ahead of Australia and Italy.

Earlier yesterday, Swimming Australia defended their concealment of Shayna Jack’s positive doping test, while one of her teammates was conducting a high-profile public campaign against China’s Sun Yang.

Jack was withdrawn from the Australia squad ahead of the championships in Gwangju, with the swimmer and Swimming Australia initially saying that it was for personal reasons.

The national team had been bound by confidentiality, while an investigation was conducted by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, Swimming Australia chief executive Leigh Russell said.

Meanwhile, South Korean police yesterday said that they arrested a foreign athlete competing in the World Championships for suspected sexual harassment at a nightclub.

The athlete was under investigation, a Gwangju Seobu Police Station official said, without providing further details.

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