Olympics: Hungary's Hosszu wins women's 400m individual medley in world record time

Katinka Hosszu of Hungary reacts after competing in the women's 400m Individual Medley heats of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Swimming events at Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 6.
Katinka Hosszu of Hungary reacts after competing in the women's 400m Individual Medley heats of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Swimming events at Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 6.PHOTO: EPA

RIO DE JANEIRO - Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, a five-time world champion, can finally call herself an Olympic gold medallist.

The 27-year-old won the women's 400m individual medley event in a world record time of 4 mins 26.36sec on Saturday, filling a gap in her impressive resume.

Hosszu, also the 200m individual medley world record holder, had to wait till her fourth appearance at the Games to win her first Olympic medal.

But it could not have been a better shade, with American Madeline Dirado (4:31.15) and Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia (4:32.39) taking silver and bronze respectively at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium.

"It's been a really long road," said Hosszu, a three-time world champion in this event. "I would have been OK if I didn't get a medal today, but I'm definitely pretty happy."

Her wire-to-wire victory saw her obliterate Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen's world record of4:28.43, set at the 2012 London Games.

"It's just crazy that I've been able to swim two seconds faster than anyone ever, ever did," she said. "It's just crazy."

Hosszu, named the Best Female Swimmer of the Year in 2014 and 2015 by swimming's world governing body FIna, is also the oldest Olympic champion of this event. That honour previously belonged to Republic of Ireland's Michelle Smith, who was 26 when she won at the 1996 Atlanta Games.