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.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Awsi Dooger
3 years ago

Entire day was refreshingly higher caliber top to bottom than the last meet, which had too many ridiculous paycheck-only tired swims

Reply to  Awsi Dooger
3 years ago

True. It wasn’t boring.

3 years ago

2’07″0 in March (and she looked very disappointed after the touch), 2’05″7 in April and 2’06″4 in May. Margherita Panziera is rock solid!!! At this point 2’04 high is not an impossible target to reach.

Reply to  JeyM
3 years ago

Her first 100 m today (1’01″19) was 4 tenths faster than the split she swam when she did her personal best.

European Swim Fan
3 years ago

Way to go, Jeremy Desplanches with a solid statement in the 200 IM

Reply to  European Swim Fan
3 years ago

Does Chase defend his 2017 World titles in both IMs?

Reply to  Superfan
3 years ago

he will

3 years ago

Holy absolutely what. Milak’s second 100 was faster than Phelps’s 1:51.51 world record. It almost matched the 58.47 2nd 100 from Melbourne 2007. Milak went out in a 52.79 at Euros.


It’s not impossible.

Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
3 years ago

He admits himself he went out way too hard at Euros, his last 50 would make Tom Shields’ Steinway wince. If he’s going to do it, I think it will be by coming home quicker than anyone else has.

Reply to  Togger
3 years ago

Kenderesi has quicker last 50 than almost anybody but Milák’s first 100 was better in Glasgow than Kenderesi’s PB in 100fly (52.87).

Reply to  Togger
3 years ago

I’m not saying it will be by going out in a 52- I’m just saying he is one of the only people on the planet who has the front end and RIDICULOUS back end speed to break the record. He’s a freak of nature.

You can see that the 100 record isn’t TOO strong, Cavic and Dressel both have been 49.

The thing is the 200 record is absolutely ridiculous. Le Clos and Cseh are nutso for going 1:52 high and still that’s barely in reach of the record, so forget going out OR coming back as fast as Phelps’s record. Milak could probably come back significantly faster than Phelps, and remember he’s not even tapered and still came home… Read more »

Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
3 years ago

i think phelps would have gone 1:50.50 in Beijing if it wasn’t for his goggles filling up.

Reply to  DRUKSTOP
3 years ago

Yes, he swam that 1.51.51 in Rome09, with a few months of training after all these months not only far of the pool but completely out of shape.
Incredible that the two Phelps WRs in the fly were swum in this situation.

Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
3 years ago

With Biczo a pretty good 4×200 fly relay 🙂

Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
3 years ago

In Glasgow the 1st 100 was 52.76 so we have 0.03 second more 🙂
150m 1:22.01, MP: 1:21.93
I know it’s not so simple but he can make it.

Reply to  Brownish
3 years ago

It looks possible one day but it isn’t easy (of course). No one else has ever been near.

Reply to  Tim
3 years ago

As he’s out of junior age he can focus on less but more important races.

3 years ago

Santos personal best age at 39. Grevers second in the world age at 34. Very proud.

Prison MIke
Reply to  Kristiina
3 years ago

extremely benjamin

Reply to  Kristiina
3 years ago

Proud? 🙂

Patrick Periard
3 years ago

Is Chad le Clos swimming for Russia now?

Reply to  Patrick Periard
3 years ago

RSA is Republic of South Africa.

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Not bad Russia, but Republic of South America is unbeatable😃

3 years ago

Swim of the meet: Anthony Ervin 22.82

Prison MIke
Reply to  Markster
3 years ago

free travel and a cheque for 50 meters, I don’t blame him

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Prison MIke
3 years ago

But Vollmer is supposed to retire? Think we have a double standard in the comments section.

Reply to  Markster
3 years ago


3 years ago

That 50 fly was fun to watch

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 …

Read More »