14-year-old Ajna Kesely Hits 1:58 in 200 Free At European Champs


  • Monday, May 16th – Sunday, May 22nd
  • Prelims: 10:00 AM (London Time) / 5:00 AM (Eastern Time)
  • Finals: 6:00 PM (London Time) / 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
  • London Aquatics Center, London, UK
  • Meet Central
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live Results
  • Live Stream

Hungarian 14-year-old Ajna Kesely advanced out of the semifinals of the women’s 200 free with a blistering age group swim of 1:58.69 on day 5 of the European Championships.

Kesely was third in her heat, behind world record-holder Federica Pellegrini (1:56.73) and her Hungarian teammate Evelyn Verraszto (1:58.66). She now sits 7th overall and will be the youngest swimmer in the championship final by more than 9 years.

The Hungarian youngster turns 15 next September. For reference, her 1:58.69 is very comparable to the U.S. National Age Group record for the 13-14 age group – that record belongs to Sippy Woodhead at 1:58.53.

Kesely was a quadruple gold medalist at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi, Georgia last summer, winning the 200 free, 400 free, 800 free and 200 fly. She also took silver in the 100 free.

She’s shown major improvement since that meet, though. Her winning 200 free time in Tbilisi was 2:01.84, more than three seconds slower than today’s time, which launches her onto the international stage at the senior level.

It’s been a huge week for Hungary, and Kesely’s poised swimming at a young age is another high point for the nation.

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bobo gigi
4 years ago

Hungary is used to having young swimmers very fast. I remember a girl who swam 2.16 or 2.17 in the 200 fly and 1.01 or 1.02 in the 100 fly last year at only 11. They produce so many talents for a country with such a small population.

US 13/14 NAG record Sippy Woodhead 1.58.53 In 1978! Amazing.

French record for 14-year-old girls is 2.03.86 by Charlotte Bonnet in 2009. We are much less precocious in France.

bobo gigi
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

I’ve found the name of the girl I was looking for. Dora Hathazi. Born on December 11, 2003. She swam 1.02 and 2.16 last summer on butterfly.

4 years ago

Woodheads swim was a world record

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Only pictures of Sippy Woodhead’s swim I’ve found. At 3 minutes 22 in the video. Very high stroke frequency. Amazing that no other 14-year-old American girl has broken that record since then. Despite all the technical improvements and the better training conditions overall.

Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

I’m surprised that Franklin, Beisel, Hoff, or Chenault didn’t break it.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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