Ajna Kesely Breaks Hungarian 400 Free Record In Worlds Final


Swimming in a race that saw one of the biggest upsets in recent memory, Ajna Kesely quietly had a standout swim to place fourth overall in the women’s 400 free final.

Kesely put up a time of 4:01.31, getting well under the Hungarian National Record of 4:02.37 set by Boglarka Kapas in the 2016 Olympic final.

The biggest difference between Kesely and Kapas’ swims came in the first 100 and the last 50:

Kapas, 2016 Olympics Kesely, 2019 Worlds
28.88 28.05
59.67 (30.79) 57.91 (29.86)
1:29.95 (30.28) 1:28.07 (30.16)
2:00.68 (30.73) 1:58.66 (30.59)
2:31.37 (30.69) 2:29.18 (30.52)
3:02.32 (30.95) 3:00.17 (30.99)
3:32.71 (30.39) 3:30.91 (30.74)
4:02.37 (29.66) 4:01.31 (30.40)

Kesely’s previous best time was 4:03.57, done at the European Championships last summer where she won the silver medal.

The 17-year-old sat third at every single turn, trailing Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus, but was overtaken by American Leah Smith on the last 50, as Smith grabbed the bronze .02 clear of her in 4:01.29.

Titmus ended up shocking Ledecky, swimming by her on the last 50 to win the gold medal in a new Commonwealth Record of 3:58.76. Ledecky suffered her first loss in major international competition in a race longer than 200 metres, taking silver in 3:59.97.

Kesely is also entered to swim the 800 and 1500 freestyle later on in the competition.

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Happy for Smith here!


Bravo Ajna! Next time you’ll make it! Congratulation for the new NR!


Ledecky 6′ 0″ Titmus 5′ 10″ Leah Smith 5′ 10″ Kesely 5′ 5″ ~~~she’s dynamite

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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