Katinka Hosszu, the Hungarian star swimmer who has been a lightning rod for criticsm during the first three days of the Rio Olympics, set another Olympic record in Monday’s 200-meter individual medley preliminaries.
Hosszu, the world champion in this event in 2013 and 2015, followed up Sunday’s world record performance in the 400 IM by posting a time of 2 minutes 7.45 seconds in Monday’s 200-meter event, positioning herself for another potential gold medal in the finals later tonight. She almost looked casual and led comfortably for the duration of the race, beating Canada’s Sydney Pickrem by nearly four seconds in the final heat of the day.
Great Britain’s Siobhan Marie-O’Connor placed second in the heats with a time of 2:08.44, while the United States’ Melanie Margalis (2:09.62) and Madeline DiRado (2:10.24) took third and fourth, respectively. O’Connor and Margalis dueled in the third heat of the day, and DiRado looked dominant in her heat by holding off Australia’s Alicia Coutts in the final 50 meters.
But the entire field again took a backseat to the dominance of Hosszu, who has raised eyebrows during her short time in Rio after her world record performance in the 400 IM. That has included backlash toward NBC announcer Dan Hicks, who credited Hosszu’s husband and coach, Shane Tusup, for the win, as well as questions about performance enhancing drugs, which Hosszu has vehemently denied throughout her career.