Tamás Kenderesi is a Hungarian butterfly specialist. He lives in Tolna, Hungary and trains under Imre Tari at Pecsi SN. He began swimming at the age of five because his mother encouraged him to try the sport. Fourteen years later, he won his first Olympic medal, a bronze in the 200 meter butterfly in Rio.
Kenderesi was unbeatable in the 200 meter butterfly as a junior. At the 2014 European Junior Championships, he took the gold in 1:56.72, just missing the Junior World Record. He had a blistering final 50 meter split of 30.37 to take down his competition, finishing more than a body length ahead of the rest of the field. A month later at the Youth Olympic Games, Kenderesi finished on top of the podium again in the 200 meter butterfly. He finished in 1:55.95, almost two seconds ahead of his Hungary teammate Benjamin Gratz who took second.
2015 FINA World Championship
The world championships in Kazan were supposed to be a coming-out party for the 18-year-old Hungarian. The defending Youth Olympic Champion was going into the championships ranked second in the world, but unfortunately he never made it to Kazan. He contracted mononucleosis in the run up to the meet and under doctors advice, decided to withdraw.
2016 European Championships
On his final stop before Rio, Kenderesi was in London for the European Championships. In his signature event, 200 meter butterfly, he touched third in 1:53.39. His country mate Laszlo Cseh took the gold.
2016 Rio Olympics
The young Hungarian went in to the 200 meter butterfly final seeded first up against a tough field. To one side he had the greatest of all time, Michael Phelps and to his other his legendary country mate, Laszlo Cseh. Two down from him, next to Phelps was the defending Olympic champion, Chad le Clos. The 19-year-old wasn’t fazed.
He turned third behind Phelps and le Clos at the halfway mark. In the final 50, le Clos faded away and Kenderesi and Japan’s Masato Sakai took over. The final few meters were a close battle for the medal order. But Phelps touched 0.04 ahead of Sakai and Kenderesi settled for bronze 0.22 behind Sakai in 1:53.62 to claim his first Olympic medal.