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Hosszu's Marathon In Honour Of Alex

Apr 20, 2013  - Craig Lord

Well, its not the Olympics but what a great way for Hungary's Katinka Hosszu - alongside the rest in Norway today - to honour Alex Dale Oen, the Norwegian world 100m breaststroke champion in whose memory the Bergen Swim Festival is being held this weekend. 

Action got underway yesterday with prelims, there were more prelims this morning and before super finals and  knockouts are held at the short-course meet this afternoon, the FINA World Cup Queen has swum in no fewer than 11 events.

On 25.40 in the 50m free, she followed up with efforts of 1.55.35 in the 200 free, 1.08.98 in the 100 breaststroke, 26.70 in the 50 'fly and a leading 1:00.63 in the 100m backstroke. That was before she went to bed last night.

Hosszu got off to a steady start this morning with a 4.19.72 in the 400m free, followed up with a 2:10.12 in the 200m back, clocked a 1:00.52 in the 100 medley and a 2:10.41 in the 200 'fly before topping off a good morning's workout with a 33.28 in the 50m breaststroke.

Alex will doubtless be smiling down on it all as the world he belonged to honours him in the way that they know best.

Today, his friends and former rivals Cameron van der Burgh and Daniel Gyurta, both men who dedicated their Olympic titles (100 for VD Burgh, 200 for Gyurta) to Dale Oen in London last year, led a host of international stars, including Olympic and world-championship medallists Michael Jamieson (GBR), Rikke Moeller Pedersen and Jeanette Ottesen Gray and Mie Nielsen (DEN) and Estonian siblings Martti and Triin Aljand in tribute.

The afternoon finals session saw Hosszu won the 200m free in 1.55.99 ahead of Bergen's Cecilie Johannessen, on 2.00.94. The Hungarian then chased Jeanette Ottesen down 25.25 to 25.55 in the 50 free showdown and returned to the fray to take second in the 100m backstoke behind another Dane, Mie Nielsen on 58.13, Hosszu on 59.44, Norwegian 'fly ace Ingvild Snildal on 1.00.18 for third. 

Hosszu then won the 200m butterfly in 2.08.56 ahead of Snildal, 2.09.95, and returned for another victory with a 1:00.09 effort in the 100m medley ahead of Rikke Moeller Pedersen, 1.01,17 and Snildal, 1.02.88.

Among men, Simon Sjödin, of SK Neptun in Sweden, clocked 1.47.88 to take the 200m free ahead of 1500m ace from the Faroes, Pal Joensen, on 1.50.49, while Ralf Tribuntsov won the 100m backstroke by a wide margin in 51.97. The 200m butterfly went to Denmark's Vikor Bromer, 1.57.13 to 1:57.29 over Sindri Jakobsson, Portugal's Duarte Mourao third in 2:01.48.

Hosszu was not done: in 2.10.85 she took the 200m backstroke, got straight back in for the 100m breaststroke and clocked 1:10.01 as Moeller Pedersen scorched a 1.05.38 victory.

Then it was Van der Burgh and Co's moment to bring down the curtain on the day in Dale Oen's old hunting ground: the South African clocked 57.82 for the 100m breaststroke win ahead of Gyurta, 59.33, and a 59.90 from Martti Aljand, whop earlier won the 100m medley in 54.25 ahead of Sjoedin and Tribuntsov.

More on the meet; more on the Dale Oen Experience; and a reminder of why it is all happening: