Iron Lady disputes false start after sweep halted

BUDAPEST • Hungarian Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu was denied a record clean sweep of gold medals at a national swimming meet on Saturday, after a surprise disqualification for a false start.

Hosszu, who won three golds and one silver at the Olympic Games in Rio, was on course to win all 17 of her events at the national short-course championships in Szazhalombatta, near Budapest.

The 27-year-old came unstuck, though, in a preliminary heat of her 12th event, the 50 metres freestyle.

Hosszu was disqualified after a judge ruled her leg had moved during the "take your marks" phase of the start, according to a statement from the Hungarian swimming federation MUSZ.

"I am disappointed as I don't feel it was a fair call," she wrote on her Facebook page.

"If I remember correctly I haven't been disqualified for the past 10 years for false start."

The swimmer was involved in a bitter row with MUSZ last January, accusing it of poor treatment of swimmers.

Nicknamed the "Iron Lady" of the pool and currently Hungary's most successful sports star, Hosszu finished the meet with 16 gold medals.

She also won 10 golds at a World Cup event in Hong Kong last month.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2016, with the headline 'Iron Lady disputes false start after sweep halted'. Print Edition | Subscribe