As the second round of the group stages come to an end, we continue our tribute to the ongoing European Football Championships in France, and for some amusement here at SwimWords, we continue to do our very own Euro16 tournament in swimming. The idea being, as each of the group matches in the football are played, here on SwimWords we will mirror this in the pool by battling top swimmers from their respective nations head to head. These top international athletes will compete against each other in terms of past success and present form to find a victor. Think ‘Top Trumps’ does swimming…
Today’s match up relates the game in Group F: HUNGARY vs ICELAND, KO: 5:00pm GMT, Saturday 18th June
- Athlete: Katinka Hosszu
- Born: 1989
- Height: 1.72cm
- Best Senior Result: Gold 200 & 400 Individual Medley, World Championships, Kazan, 2015
- Athlete: Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir
- Born: 1990
- Best Senior Result: Silver 50 and 100 Breaststroke, European Championships, London, 2016
Hungary have in their arsenal one of the toughest and most versatile swimmers on the circuit. Katinka Hosszu, unsurprisingly known as the ‘Iron Lady’ as she is able to put together a competition programme like no other, has dominated the Individual Medley events in recent years. The long course 200m IM record holder (2.06.12), which Hosszu achieved in Kazan last year to take the Gold, is ranked No.1 in not only Europe but the rest of the World for both the 200 distance and the 400 distance. Her dominance in the recent Mare Nostrum tour only highlights her versatility as she competed in 3 or 4 finals per evening winning most along the way. If Katinka is anything to go by, you’ll see a Hungarian football team who is versatile enough to combat any formation and a team who are strong and fit enough to press high and beat their opposition through shear hard work. The Hungarian swimmer, only has an Olympic medal to tick off her aspiration list after her 4th place at London2012, and surely the optimum medal in sport will be hers this August at Rio2016.
Just like the Icelandic football team made history by qualifying for their first major tournament this year, their swimming representative, Hrafnhildur Luthersdottir, also made history by winning her country’s first medals at the European Championships in London last month. Hilda won two silvers (50m & 100m Breaststroke) and a bronze (200 Breaststroke) in an incredible display that saw her break Nationals records in all three breaststroke distances. The Florida based swimmer’s best result on the World stage came in Russia last year, where she came 6th in the 100m breaststroke with a time of 1.07.10.
With both athletes in the best form of their career this is a great match up. In lane 4 we have a World Record holder is arguably one of the best all-rounders in the sport, and in Lane 5 stands a lady who is achieving feats the small island of Iceland has never seen before.
However, with such pedigree in multiple events and with the experience of taking gold medals at the World level, the favourite for this one has to be Hungary. Although I’m sure the Florida Gator will be snapping at her heels…
SwimWords Euro16 Score:
HUNGARY 2 : 0 ICELAND
Do you agree?