Hungary's 'Iron Lady' Wants To Be 'in The Moment' At Tokyo Olympics

Hungary's 'Iron Lady' wants to be 'in the moment' at Tokyo Olympics

Budapest, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 22nd Jul, 2021 ) :As Hungarian swimming great Katinka Hosszu gears up for her fifth Olympic Games the triple gold medallist says her target for Tokyo is simply to "enjoy the moment".

After making her Olympic debut at Athens in 2004 and competing in Beijing in 2008, she missed out on the podium at the London Games in 2012 despite high expectations.

But in Rio four years later Hosszu won three golds and a silver, and cemented her place as one of the world's top swimmers.

The 32-year-old, nicknamed the "Iron Lady", plans to compete in the 200m and 400m individual medley events, the 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly in Japan.

"I really want to be in the moment in Tokyo, and not worry so much about the end result but feel the Olympics, and just be there," Hosszu told AFP.

"It felt like I wasn't really there, I didn't really have the emotions of winning a gold medal, because right away I was thinking of the next event.

"So I didn't really enjoy the moment of stepping on the podium, or listening to the anthem as I was already thinking of what I need to do for the next race." Hosszu said her hero when growing up was compatriot Krisztina Egerszegi, who won five individual gold medals over three consecutive Games between 1988 and 1996.

In Rio, Hosszu shattered the world record in the 400m medley and broke the Olympic record in the 200m medley as well as winning gold in the 100m backstroke.

But she declined to say if she could win gold medals in Tokyo and match or even overtake Egerszegi's haul.

"I definitely will give my best whatever I have and am going to enjoy that moment of celebrating my results," she said with a smile.

As well as her achievements in the pool, Hosszu is also a pioneer in the sport.

She has put her name to a swimsuit with "Iron Lady" branding, holds live conferences with her legions of fans on Facebook, and is one of the highest-profile swimmers behind the professional International Swimming League (ISL).

The team-based competition format, launched in 2019, is designed to shake up swimming and boost the profile of a sport whose biggest moments traditionally come at the Olympics and world championships.

"I am really honoured to be part of ISL as one of the team owners, trying to show that swimming can be professional," said Hosszu.

"We have a league now. The swimmers are taken care of as elite athletes as they should be, as we do a lot of hard work.

"I think swimming can be very exciting, so changing the format of swimming competitions is helping to show spectators that it is fun to come to a swim meet, it can be kind of like going to a soccer game."But for now Hosszu will be putting her broader ambitions aside as she focuses on her bid for more Olympic glory in Tokyo.