Istanbul, world s/c championships, day 1 finals:
Women's 200m butterfly
Katinka Hosszu, the Hungarian who won more than $150,000 on world cup tour after racing 28km and claiming 39 victories in eight meets, reaped the rewards of her tough approach to the post-Olympic winter season with gold over Olympic champion Jiao Liuyang (CHN).
Just 0.08sec split the two in the hunt for the wall, Hosszu on a championship record and world textile best of 2:02.20. Jemma Lowe (GBR), who set the half-way pace at 58.98 over in lane 1, was out of the middle-lanes battle by the end but a 2:03.19. The podium placers clocked times that are No1, 2 and 4 on the all-time best list in textile suits.
Hosszu, fourth at the 2010 championships, also set a national record, while the champion could not get beyond the China record held by 2008 Olympic champion Liu Zige, on 2:03.99 today for fourth.
Hosszu, 5th at the 50m turn, was level with Jiao at the half-way mark half a second down on Lowe over on the wing. Jiao, who finished 0.04sec ahead of another Brit, Ellen Gandy (to race for Australia from 2014, though British Swimming has yet to receive any paperwork or request in accordance with FINA rules) for the world-long-course title in 2011, spotted Lowe at the 125m turn and piled on the pressure. With 50m to go, Lowe was still in the lead by half a second, Hosszu a further .5sec adrift. At the last turn, there was barely anything between the leading medal contenders but the fight for honour in the middle of the pool had the edge.
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 2
Liu Limin (CHN) 1993, '97; Mette Jaconsen (DEN) 1999, 2000
All-time textile rankings top 5:
From the archive:
In 1995, a would-be thief chanced his luck with the wrong woman on Copacabana in Rio. It was the eve of the world short-course championship, the venue was a fabulous temporary facility on the beach and one of Europe's top swimmers was taking a stroll along one of the world's most famous beaches to relax. The rogue tried to get his hands on the bag hanging from the shoulder of 'fly ace Mette Jacobsen (DEN). She felt the tug, turned and kung-fu kicked her assailant into submission. She was impressive in the water too: champion over 200m in 1991, she then won silver in 1995 behind an Irish swimmer heading for trouble, and bronze in 1997 before claiming the title once more in 1999. A year later, Jacobsen took silver behing future Olympic champion Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL), the Dane's run ending in 2004 with a bronze that contributed to her being the most decorated 200 'fly swimmer in European championship history.