Hungarian swimming icon Katinka Hosszú has been named ‘European Sportswoman of 2019’ by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS). This is the third time Hosszú is honored with the title, as she was named Europe’s best two times before, in 2016 and 2017.
The Hungarian swimmer made history at the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. She won her 9th long-course WC title there in the 400m IM and the 200m IM as well. She has swept the two IM titles for the fourth straight competition, making her the first-ever swimmer to do so. In addition, the Iron Lady captured her fifth title in the 400m individual medley overall. As a result, she became the first woman to win five world titles in the same event.
Katinka Hosszú Is Still Invincible in Medley
Katinka Hosszú won the title for the third time, after 2016 and 2017. The only athlete who was honored with the title more times is Belgian Justin Henin, who finished first four times between 2002 and 2007. The three-time Olympic champion swimmer is the second Hungarian winner, the first to be recognized was Krisztina Egerszegi in 1992. Additionally, Hosszú is also in competition for the Hungarian Athlete of the Year title, which winners will be announced on January 16th.
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal was chosen as the best European sportsman for the second time in his career. Nadal was first named the best European athlete in 2008. This year, sports journalists from 43 countries participated in the AIPS Europe vote.
Hosszú’s title comes on the heels of another prestigious result in the rankings of AIPS. In December, the best athletes of the world were also announced, where Katinka Hosszú finished fourth, swimmer Kristóf Milák eighth, and the women’s handball team of Győr finished fifth. Milák won a gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly at the Swimming World Cup in Quangju, while the Győri ETO handball team finished fifth following their success in the Champions League. A total of 331 sports journalists from 102 countries participated in the online vote with the majority of the votes (37) coming from Hungary.
featured photo: MTI/Illyés Tibor