Katinka Hosszu (centre), has been in imperious form in the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup series (photo by John Yeong/SSC).
Hungarian Pride: Katinka Hosszu
Singapore, 12 November 2012 - Katinka Hosszu was crowned the overall winner for the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2012 at the Singapore Sports School, bringing honour and glory to the landlocked country in central Europe. The 23-year-old finished with a whopping 186 points, bagging prize money of USD100,000 for her final position. This concluded an arduous eight-leg series of the swimming world cup which was flagged off in Dubai (2-3 Oct) and ended in Singapore (10-11 Nov).
Arriving in Singapore as the overwhelming favourite for the final leg of the World Cup series, Hosszu already had an enormous headstart over her compatriot Zsuzsanna Jakabos (Hosszu led 146 points to 79) before results in the last leg of the circuit in Singapore made her the winner of the 2012 edition, even before the last day of competition on November 11.
Apart from claiming silver in the 200m Individual Medley (IM), Hosszu also added two more gold medals to her impressive collection this year (totalling now 37 titles in this World Cup), touching first in the 200m free (1:53.57) and 800m free (8:21.94).
However, Hosszu did not succumb to complacency at all. Instead, she carried on her zeal for the win in each race and landed herself with even more medals. As they always say, “You can always do with more.”
On Day 2 of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2012, Hosszu swam in four events, winning the women’s 400m IM and women’s 200m butterfly, and finishing third in the women’s 100m IM.
The sweet-looking Hungarian humbly credited the fierce competition for her victory. She said, “It was a lot easier to motivate myself with so many good swimmers to race with. I just tried to win every race I took part in. I planned to swim in many events for this series, and it’s really good training with these fantastic swimmers.”
Joining her on the podium to collect top gong was Kenneth To from Australia who won the Men’s competition for the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2012, finishing with 195 points. The king and queen of the World Cup are now looking forward to the World Championships in Barcelona, the next big swimming competition that is set to take place in the summer of 2013.
Anthony Ervin punches the air in celebration after touching in first in the Men’s 50m freestyle (photo by FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup – Singapore facebook page).
Anthony Ervin’s inspiring comeback
Famous English writer and poet J. R. R. Tolkien once said, “Not all those who wander are lost.” When one looks at the life of American swimmer Anthony Ervin, these words appear to ring truer than ever.
When asked “Why the comeback after 10 years?” by SingaporeSports.sg at a recent media session, Ervin’s eyes lit up and he delightfully replied, “I realized I couldn’t merely exercise without being my best and after a few years in the workforce, I also realized that doing this now, traveling around the world and doing what I love best - swimming, is the best possible job that anyone could ever have.”
Anthony Ervin is a great figure in the sports scene, and one who has experienced many ups and downs, taking a path that few have dared to take to get to where he finally is today. From rejecting a swimming scholarship in Berkeley, to selling his Olympic gold medal on eBay for $17,101 to raise funds for UNICEF, and finally turning to alcohol and drugs leading to his suicide attempts.
Indeed, so colourful has the life of this 31-year old been that there is little need to imagine how far he has come before entering this year’s FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup again.
Ervin clinched the gold medal in the men’s 50m freestyle event, beating arch-rival George Bovell (TRI) and wrapping up a victory with a spectacular timing of 20.99 seconds. He said, “This World Cup has been incredibly long, and I wanted to finish strong. The win was great, and the timing was really good, getting just under the 21-second barrier. My main competitor was George (Bovell), and he was up four races to three leading into this, so I really wanted to take this and beat him for the last one.”
The 2012 edition of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup started in Dubai (2-3 Oct), moved on to Doha (6-7 Oct), Stockholm (13-14 Oct), Moscow (17-18 Oct), Berlin (20-21 Oct), Beijing (2-3 Nov), Tokyo (6-7 Nov) and culminated in Singapore (10-11 Nov).