2019 FINA Champions Swim Series – Budapest: Day 1 Live Recap


The second of three FINA Champions Swim Series stops will get underway today from Budapest, with a mix of athletes who competed at the first stop in Guangzhou along with plenty of others who will make their debuts at the unique two-day affair.

The event lineup has shifted from the one used in Guangzhou. Notably, the women’s 200 and 400 freestyle events both don’t fall on day one anymore, and neither do the men’s on day two. Day one now features the women’s 400 free and the men’s 200 free.

Women’s 400 Free

  1. Ajna Kesely, HUN, 4:05.92
  2. Wang Jianjiahe, CHN, 4:07.50
  3. Holly Hibbott, GBR, 4:08.18
  4. Li Bingjie, CHN, 4:12.39

Ajna Kesely got the crowd buzzing in the opening event of the night, winning the women’s 400 freestyle in a time of 4:05.92. That falls less than a second off her season-best of 4:05.12, and gives Hungary two consecutive wins in this event after Katinka Hosszu won in Guangzhou.

Wang Jianjiahe of China held off Holly Hibbott of Great Britain for second in 4:07.50.

Men’s 200 Fly

  1. Kristof Milak, HUN, 1:53.64
  2. Masato Sakai, JPN, 1:55.40
  3. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 1:55.95
  4. Laszlo Cseh, HUN, 1:56.83

After Chad Le Clos was the early aggressor in the men’s 200 fly, leading at the 100 in 54.58, Hungarian Kristof Milak completely took over on the back half to win decisively in a very fast time of 1:53.64. His second 100 was a blistering 58.58, including a 29.03 third 50.

That falls just shy of his world-leading season-best of 1:53.19, and registers as his fourth-fastest performance ever.

Olympic silver medalist Masato Sakai clocked a season-best to snag second in 1:55.40, elevating him to fifth in the world, and Le Clos managed to hang onto third in 1:55.95.

Women’s 100 Fly

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 56.78
  2. Farida Osman, EGY, 58.32
  3. Penny Oleksiak, CAN, 58.52
  4. Dana Vollmer, USA, 1:01.23

Reigning Olympic and World Champion Sarah Sjostrom easily takes the women’s 100 fly in a time of 56.78, less than a tenth off her season-best of 56.69 (which is #1 in the world). This is her second consecutive Champions Series win in the event.

Farida Osman (58.32) swam her fastest of the season for second, and Penny Oleksiak was only two-tenths off her 2019 best for third (58.52).

Men’s 50 Free

  1. Ben Proud, GBR, 21.52
  2. Bruno Fratus, BRA, 21.67
  3. Vladimir Morozov, RUS, 21.77
  4. Anthony Ervin, USA, 22.82

Just like Sjostrom, Ben Proud wins an event for the second straight time on the series in the men’s 50 free, touching in 21.52. He was 21.48 in Guangzhou.

He was given a close race from world #1 Bruno Fratus and Vladimir Morozov, but they ended up slightly back for second and third in 21.67 and 21.77 respectively. Fratus is the fastest in the world this year at 21.47.

Women’s 200 Breast

  1. Yuliya Efimova, RUS, 2:22.52
  2. Eszter Bekesi, HUN, 2:27.54
  3. Katie Meili, USA, 2:27.86
  4. Molly Hannis, USA, 2:29.57

Yuliya Efimova put on a clinic in the women’s 200 breast, finishing in a time of 2:22.52 to move her .01 ahead of Guangzhou winner Ye Shiwen for the top spot in the world this year.

17-year-old Eszter Bekesi of Hungary dropped over a second from her lifetime best to steal second in 2:27.54, edging out American Katie Meili (2:27.86).

Men’s 100 Back

  1. Evgeny Rylov, RUS, 52.81
  2. Matt Grevers, USA, 53.09
  3. Kliment Kolesnikov, RUS, 53.75
  4. Xu Jiayu, CHN, 54.65

Russian Evgeny Rylov put together a strong race to win the men’s 100 back in 52.81, lowering his fastest of the season from 53.00. He maintains his spot at #2 in the world, behind Guangzhou winner Xu Jiayu.

American Matt Grevers seemingly held back on the opening 50 but closed really well, splitting 26.24/26.85 to move past Kliment Kolesnikov on the back half and take second in 53.09, putting him fourth in the world. Kolesnikov was 53.75 for third, and Xu was well back for fourth in 54.65.

Women’s 200 Back

  1. Margherita Panziera, ITA, 2:06.41
  2. Katinka Hosszu, HUN, 2:08.16
  3. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 2:08.89
  4. Katalin Burian, HUN, 2:09.00

World #1 Margherita Panziera dominated the women’s 200 back en route to the victory in a time of 2:06.41, less than a second off her 2:05.72 from just over a month ago. The 23-year-old Italian had the fastest split in the field on the first, second, and third 50s.

Guangzhou winner Katinka Hosszu and Aussie Emily Seebohm both registered season-bests of 2:08.16 and 2:08.89 respectively for second and third, and in fourth Katalin Burian‘s 2:09.00 was actually faster than Hosszu’s winning time at the first stop (2:09.05).

Men’s 50 Fly

  1. Nicholas Santos, BRA, 22.60
  2. Andrii Govorov, UKR, 22.87
  3. Michael Andrew, USA, 23.19
  4. Ben Proud, GBR, 23.68

39-year-old Brazilian Nicholas Santos won his second consecutive 50 fly title in a blazing fast time of 22.60, breaking his South American Record by .01. He moves past Oleg Kostin (22.74) for the top time in the world, having been 22.77 in April.

World record holder Andrii Govorov broke 23 seconds for the first time this year for second in 22.87, and Michael Andrew (23.19) took third over Proud (23.68).

Women’s 100 Free

  1. Sarah Sjostrom, SWE, 53.03
  2. Pernille Blume, DEN, 53.40
  3. Federica Pellegrini, ITA, 53.91
  4. Penny Oleksiak, CAN, 54.45

Sarah Sjostrom swam practically the same race she did in Guangzhou in the women’s 100 free, taking it out well off the pace (in this case, trailing Pernille Blume by .82 at the 50) and then storming home to eke out the win. After flipping in 26.10, she closed in 26.93, .01 faster than her back 50 at the first stop, for a final time of 53.03.

In Guangzhou, it was Cate Campbell who she ran down for the victory (in 52.82).

Blume’s runner-up time of 53.40 gave her a new best for the season, and Federica Pellegrini made her Champions Series debut in third in 53.91.

Men’s 200 IM

  1. Jeremy Desplanches, SUI, 1:57.01
  2. Chase Kalisz, USA, 1:57.74
  3. Philip Heintz, GER, 1:58.39
  4. Wang Shun, CHN, 1:58.54

Switzerland’s Jeremy Desplanches used a strong 28.00 freestyle leg to take down Chase Kalisz and win the men’s 200 IM in a time of 1:57.01, falling just .15 shy of his National Record and .12 off his season-best.

Kalisz, who took the lead on the breast leg with a 33.35 split, ended up second in 1:57.74, and Philip Heintz of Germany had the fastest free leg in the field (27.65) to edge out Guangzhou winner Wang Shun for third in 1:58.39.

Women’s 50 Breast

  1. Yuliya Efimova, RUS, 30.26
  2. Molly Hannis, USA, 30.77
  3. Imogen Clark, 30.85
  4. Katie Meili, USA, 30.98

Yuliya Efimova made it two-for-two on the day with another victory in the 50 breast, clocking 30.26 to move her past Molly Hannis for the top time in the world this year.

Hannis, who has been as fast as 30.43 last month, touched second in 30.77, and Imogen Clark and Katie Meili also cracked 31 in third and fourth.

Men’s 100 Breast

  1. Fabio Scozzoli, ITA, 59.05
  2. Anton Chupkov, RUS, 59.21
  3. Ross Murdoch, GBR, 59.63
  4. Kevin Cordes, USA, 1:00.75

Fabio Scozzoli makes it back-to-back wins in the men’s 100 breast, opening up a lead on the first 50 before holding off 200 world champion Anton Chupkov on the way home, as he touched in a time of 59.05 for a new personal best. Previously he had been 59.33 (and was 59.74 in Guangzhou), and he was also just .04 off of Nicolo Martinenghi‘s Italian Record of 59.01.

Both Chupkov (59.21) and Ross Murdoch (59.63) were faster than Scozzoli’s winning time at the last stop in second and third.

Women’s 50 Back

  1. Anastasia Fesikova, RUS, 27.58
  2. Georgia Davies, GBR, 27.89
  3. Etiene Medeiros, BRA, 28.25
  4. Emily Seebohm, AUS, 28.51

Russian veteran Anastasia Fesikova comes out on top in the women’s 50 back in a time of 27.58, .02 quicker than the winning time in China and fast enough to rank her second in the world for the year.

Georgia Davies moved up one spot from Guangzhou to take second in 27.89, and Etiene Medeiros, who holds that #1 time in the world at 27.36, was third in 28.25.

Men’s 200 Free

  1. Danas Rapsys, LTU, 1:46.74
  2. Aleksandr Krasnykh, RUS, 1:46.91
  3. Dominik Kozma, HUN, 1:47.12
  4. Chad Le Clos, RSA, 1:48.82

After Chad Le Clos opened up very fast with a 24.00 first 50, Danas Rapsys took over in the men’s 200 freestyle and maintained that lead all the way to the final wall. He fended off a late push from Aleksandr Krasnykh and Dominik Kozma to win in a time of 1:46.74, just about half a second slower than he was in Guangzhou where he placed second to Sun Yang.

Krasnykh (1:46.91) snagged second over Kozma (1:47.12), while Le Clos placed fourth for the second consecutive meet in 1:48.82.

Mixed 400 Free Relay

  1. Team 1 (Desplanches, Ress, O’Connor, Oleksiak), 3:27.63
  2. Team 3 (Cseh, Grevers, Medeiros, Hibbott), 3:29.43
  3. Team 4 (Metella, Timmers, Efimova, Kesely), 3:31.69
  4. Team 2 (Heintz, Prenot, Clark, Davies), 3:33.64

Team 1 consisting of Jeremy Desplanches (49.92), Justin Ress (48.81), Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (54.76) and Penny Oleksiak (54.14) decisively won the mixed 400 free relay in a time of 3:27.63, receiving the top female leg in the field from Oleksiak and the second-fastest flying male leg from Ress.

Team 3 took second in 3:29.43, with Etiene Medeiros‘ split being the most notable at 54.29, and Team 4 took third with the fastest male duo of Mehdy Metella (48.81) and Pieter Timmers (48.68).

Compared to the times done at the first stop, the first and second place teams were both one second faster than the top-2 in Guangzhou.

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Woke Stasi
2 years ago

I’ve noticed that neither Ledecky nor Manuel are participating at the Indianapolis stop of this meet in a few weeks. Seems like a lot of easy money to be collected at a fairly high-profile meet.

Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

same with Dressel. very easy money for him.

Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

Woud Manuel be invited for more than one event(100 free)?

Reply to  Joe
2 years ago

Probably the 50 free seeing as she’s an Olympic medalist in it

Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

Do those 3 really need the money? Making choices what is best for their swimming and not their pocketbook! Let’s say they make $20k but have more than a million in sponsors.

Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

Ledecky’s monthly earning from TYR sponsorship is about $80,000. So it is quite comparable with the prize money at this tournament. During the month of this three stops Sjostrom is going to make $150,000.
If you are wondering if they need money that much it would be an interesting question to ask at interview. 😀

13 % Chinese person
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

So now can we now put her in the Washington white privilege ivy leagued 1% column . Then there are other American world chsmps like Chaise who don’t even have pants . The inequality!

Sprinter Mentality
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

Both of them, and many other top American swimmers, are competing in the Atlanta Classic Swim Meet In Atlanta, Georgia, May 17th – 19th. Most likely just a preference of staying within the states and not having to do back to back weekend meets with a 6 hour time change to get used to again. Especially with worlds in exactly 2 months, they want all the rest they can get.

2 years ago

How are the relay teams decided on?

Reply to  VGM
2 years ago

More or less drawn out of a hat.

2 years ago

Penny Oleksiak??

Reply to  alex
2 years ago

Tonight’s 100 Fly a bit better than last month at cdn trials. 100 Free slower.

2 years ago

Good one from Milak

Reply to  swimJon
2 years ago

Looked so easy.

Reply to  Brownish
2 years ago

Yeah that 3rd 50.. wow

Reply to  swimJon
2 years ago

Otherwise I don’t like this “lookaround” style. Absolutely no need for it and it’s against the clock.

Reply to  Brownish
2 years ago

O was annoyed by it when Chad first start, but those guys seem to know what they’re doing

Reply to  Teddy
2 years ago

As you know I’m talking only about Milák in this case. He is far the best in 200fly at the moment so this is uncomprehended. “Only” the records should be his goal. He is unbeatable presently. Then why?

Reply to  Brownish
2 years ago

True. I haven’t seen him looking around before. Hopefully he is reminded not to do it again. I still think he’d have been world champ in this pool if Cesh wasn’t preselected for words in 2017.

Reply to  Tim
2 years ago

He has been started it at least last year, perhaps earlier. He did it at Nationals too. As we have Kenderesi :).
That was a fair decision. Till the deadline of the Hungarian selection Cseh and Kanderesi were faster. Milák won his junior races and we remember the 100 fly at the Worlds.

Woke Stasi
2 years ago

COUGHLIN providing good commentary. A step above FRANKLIN.

Prison MIke
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

not as good as the russian commentators i can’t understand

Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

She was brilliant and multiple times was a real help to her partner. This Republic of South America was priceless. 😀

Woke Stasi
Reply to  Yozhik
2 years ago

@Yozhik: I agree. The lead announcer had a number of problems and Coughlin stepped in to help him out. He struggled to say Efimova and Nathalie covered for him. She sounded much more spontaneous and less scripted than Franklin did two weeks ago. Also, the video of the actual races left much to be desired. A lot of it was out of focus and too close in.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

Coughlin got off to a nervous start by beginning each early response with a version of, “Oh my gosh…” She settled down and relaxed when the play by play guy screwed up a couple of times and she had to correct him. From there it was a very solid performance, far above Missy. My favorite from the play by play guy was middle of the 200 fly when he started to assert that LeClos is always a huge back half swimmer. Within 5 meters that race predictably reversed from everything he was claiming

2 years ago
Woke Stasi
2 years ago

Bruno Fratus with a Mark Spitz ‘stache! Proud for the win 21.52. Ervin last off the blocks and last in the race.

Reply to  Woke Stasi
2 years ago

Ervin seems to done …fair enough .

He Said What?
2 years ago

Republic of South America? What?

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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