Swimming: Katinka Hosszu launches short course worlds with a bang

Hungary's Katinka Hosszu powered to a dominant victory in the 400m individual medley at the Short Course World Swimming Championships with a time of 4min 21.67sec.
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu powered to a dominant victory in the 400m individual medley at the Short Course World Swimming Championships with a time of 4min 21.67sec. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Katinka Hosszu of Hungary poses with her gold medal from the 400m Individual Medley final on day one of the 13th Fina World Swimming Championships on Dec 6, 2016.
Katinka Hosszu of Hungary poses with her gold medal from the 400m Individual Medley final on day one of the 13th Fina World Swimming Championships on Dec 6, 2016.AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Montreal (AFP) - Katinka Hosszu, seeking to add an exclamation point to her sparkling Olympic year, captured gold and silver on Tuesday as the Short Course Swimming World Championships began in Windsor, Canada.

Hungary's "Iron Lady" of swimming, a treble gold medallist at the Rio Games in August, powered to a dominant victory in the 400m individual medley.

Her time of 4min 21.67sec was more than two seconds off her own world record, but it was comfortably in front of runner-up Ella Eastin's 4:27.74.

Easton seized silver after Vietnam's Anh Vien Nguyen appeared to touch second but was disqualified.

American Madisyn Cox was third in 4:27.78.

The triumph came shortly after Italian veteran Federica Pellegrini denied Hosszu in the 200m freestyle.

Pellegrini, 28, was closing at the final turn and churned past Hosszu on the final lap to take the first short course world title of her career in 1:51.73.

Hosszu settled for silver in 1:52.28, with 16-year-old Canadian Taylor Ruck third in a national record of 1:52.50.

Hosszu, one of the few Rio stars competing in Windsor, pulled triple duty on Tuesday, also booking her place in the 100m backstroke final.

While her win was an extension of a stellar year that saw her win 200m and 400m medley and 100m backstroke gold in Rio, South Korean Park Tae Hwan's 400m freestyle triumph was a turnaround in a largely forgettable 2016.

Park, a 2008 Olympic gold medallist who fizzled in Rio after serving a drugs ban, pounced to overtake Russian Aleksandr Krasnykh in the final 100m, winning in 3:34.59sec.

Krasnykh took silver in 3:35.30 while 2014 short course world champion Peter Bernek of Hungary was third in 3:37.65.

Park will be hoping his first short course world crown is a launching point for a new phase of his career as swimmers begin looking toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

After serving an 18-month steroid ban, Park battled South Korean team officials for the chance to compete in Rio. But once there he failed to advance from the heats in the 100m, 200m and 400m free and scratched from the 1500m free.