Experienced swimmers underperform in front of new challengers

Tokyo (Associated Press)-It feels like changing the guard in an Olympic swimming pool.

Federica Pellegrini. seventh.

Chad Le Clos. fifth.

Katin Karon. Also seventh.

On Wednesday, three swimming superstars failed to make the podium at the Tokyo Aquatic Center.

In her fifth and final Olympic Games, the 32-year-old Pellegrini had hoped to win another medal in the 200-meter freestyle event-she won this event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and now Her name remains in the world record book.

But she is not an opponent of young people like Australia’s Ariane Titmus, who won the gold medal in nearly 2 1/2 seconds faster than the Italian.

The 29-year-old Le Clos knew he had no real chance of winning the gold medal in the 200 butterfly, a competition that was dominated by Hungarian world record holder Christoph Milak for several years.

The South African bravely talked about the “kill or be killed strategy”-in fact, he was in second place alongside Milak when turning. But Le Clos could not hold on. He was more than 3 seconds behind the Hungarian and about half a second behind the bronze medal.

Hosszu is a Hungarian, known as the “Iron Lady” for her hard work. She hopes to defend her title in a 200-person medley. Instead, she lags behind speed in all four shots, nearly 4 seconds behind champion Japanese player Yui Ohashi, not far from silver and bronze medallist Alex Walsh and 19-year-old Kate Douglas. American.

“I think it’s okay, I think,” Hosszu said. “Obviously, I gave everything I had in the swimming pool, and this is what I have today.”

The coronavirus pandemic has postponed the Olympics for a year and disrupted everyone’s training schedule, which really hurt Hosszu’s preparations.

“I know that the pandemic has disappointed me, and I think I need more time to figure out what I need to do to become better in the competition,” she said.

But Hosszu said she hasn’t finished yet.

She plans to continue swimming and strive for a place in the Paris Olympics in three years.

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