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Hosszu wins again in Charlotte Grand Prix

May 19, 2014

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) — Katinka Hosszu of Hungary added to her medal count on the final day of the Charlotte Grand Prix, winning the women’s 200-meter individual medley and 200 backstroke Sunday.

Hosszu, the 2013 200 individual medley world champion, easily won that event in 2 minutes, 10.80 seconds, more than 2¼ seconds ahead of U.S. teenager Kathleen Baker.

The 25-year-old Hosszu had a closer win in the 200 backstroke, with her time of 2:10.12 — more than 1¼ seconds better than Megan Romano of the United States.

Hosszu finished the four-day Grand Prix with six wins in seven events. She won the women’s 200 freestyle and 400 individual medley Friday, and the 200 butterfly and 100 backstroke Saturday.

“I’m focusing on the 400 IM ... and these events help each other,” Hosszu said. “If I can get better in the 200 freestyle or 400 freestyle, then I can finish the 400 IM better.”

“Another thing is I love to race. For me, it’s fun to get up there and try to do my best. Of course, I’m not going to be able to always win, but I’m going to try.”

Also Sunday, Denmark’s Lotte Friis took the women’s 800 freestyle, Brazil’s Thiago Pereirat won the men’s 200 individual medley, Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin the men’s 200 backstroke, Allison Schmitt of the U.S. the women’s 100 freestyle, America’s Anthony Ervin and France’s Yannick Agnel tied in the men’s 100 freestyle, and Connor Jaeger of the U.S. the men’s 1,500 freestyle.

While Michael Phelps attracted most of the attention, Hosszu turned in the meet’s best overall performance.

“I’m feeling OK right now,” Hosszu said. “I thought I’d feel pretty bad after the 200 (backstroke), but I’m feeling a lot better now. I actually felt worse (Saturday), but I felt pretty good after my races today.”

The six event wins moved Hosszu from fourth to first in USA Swimming’s Grand Prix Series standings, with one event remaining — at Santa Clara, California on June 19-22. But Hosszu said she won’t be there.

“I’m going to be in Europe the rest of the year,” Hosszu said. “My big goal wasn’t to win the Grand Prix Series. I’m focusing on the European Championships in Berlin in August. After that, there’s the world championships (in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 3-7), then Rio (for the 2016 Olympics).

“My coach (Shane Tusup) and I created this plan after the London Olympics. We’ve started planning after Rio as well, but we have a concrete plan in place up to then.”

Jaeger won his third event title at the meet, taking the men’s 800 freestyle in 15:11.46, more than 11 seconds ahead of Michael Klueh of the U.S. Jaeger also won the men’s 800 freestyle and 400 freestyle titles.

Friis, who won the women’s 1,500 freestyle Thursday, won the 800 freestyle in 16:07.14.

Vyatchanin, who recently moved to the United States to train, won his second event of the weekend by taking the men’s 200 backstroke. His had a time of 1:55.33.

Ervin and Agnel tied in the men’s 100 freestyle final at 49.51.

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