Budapest World Cup Golden Race: Video & Results As Sjostrom & Christou Victorious


After the news was released that the local organizing committee of the Budapest stop of the World Cup would host so-called “Golden Races,” many a fan’s interests were piqued.

Comprised of the individual 100m event winners, the “Golden Race would see each swimmer swim their respective stroke with a time delay between each start. The delay would be equal to the difference in their winning times so as to make, hypothetically, all of the swimmers finish roughly at the same time.

Perhaps due to the late announcement of the races or the condition in the streaming contract, or perhaps it was just an oversight. However, many of us (myself included) were left very disappointed when the World Aquatics live feed ended after the medal ceremony.

Although official results have not been uploaded anywhere by World Aquatics, we have managed to piece them together based on race videos.

Men’s Golden Race

With the Italian Thomas Ceccon winning both the 100 freestyle (48.41) on Saturday and the 100 backstroke (52.58) on Sunday, he had a choice as to which event he wanted to contest. Ceccon competed in the freestyle, allowing the silver medalist in the back, Apostolos Christou (53.77), to swim the back.

Ceccon and Christou, along with the butterfly winner (Noe Ponti – 51.38) and the breaststroke winner (Qin Haiyang – 57.82), comprised the four entrants of the race.

As the video above shows, Qin dives in first, followed by Christou, then quickly by Ponti, with Ceccon entering last.

While the video posted by World Aquatics does not show any results or places, the in-arena commentator, at the finish, can be heard saying that Christou is the winner of the bonus of 1000 USD and first place.

Results pulled from the scoreboard in the Arena show:

  1. Backstroke- Apostolos Christou (GRE) – 56.76
  2. Butterfly – Noe Ponti (SUI) – 57.70
  3. Freestyle – Thomas Ceccon (ITA) – 59.08
  4. Breaststroke –Qin Haiyang (CHN) – 59.45

Courtesy of Thomas Ceccon on Youtube

It appears as if all the times are from the running clock used to start Qin in the breaststroke, and thus, the back, fly, and free times are relative to the breaststroke start. My stopwatch shows the following:

  • Freestyle (Ceccon): 50.12
  • Butterfly (Ponti): 51.60
  • Backstroke (Christou): 53.66
  • Breaststroke (Qin): 59.42

While all the swimmers will be expected to be tired from the long weekend of racing, Christou and Ponti were closest to their winning time in their respective 100s, leading them to a 1-2 finish.

Women’s Golden Race

As noted above, SwimSwam has contacted World Aquatics to inquire about footage and results from the women’s race, but we have found footage filmed from within the arena.

Courtesy of @swimcoverage

We have gathered that not all of the winners of the individual 100 opted to compete, with 100 free winner Siobhan Haughey, and the 100 back winner (and overall series winner) Kaylee McKeown deciding to sit out.

With the second-place swimmers entering in the 100 free and 100 back, the race was contested by Zhang Yufei (56.13 – 100 fly), Benedetta Pilato (1:05.83 – 100 breast), Kylie Masse (59.26 – 100 back ), and Sarah Sjostrom (53.25 – 100 free)

Results pulled from the scoreboard in the Arena show:

  1. Freestyle – Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) – 1:03.35
  2. Butterfly – Zhang Yufei (CHN) – 1:04.34
  3. Backstroke – Kylie Masse (CAN) – 1:04.39
  4. Breaststroke –Benedetta Pilato (ITA) – 1:06.30

Like the men’s race, the times are based on the start of the breaststroke. My stopwatch shows the following:

  • Freestyle (Sjostrom): 54.06
  • Butterfly (Zhang): 57.77
  • Backstroke (Masse): 1:00.46
  • Breaststroke (Pilato): 1:06.30 (from scoreboard)

Quick Thoughts

  • Planning: I think World Aquatics should have kept the coverage rolling. There seemed to be many a disappointed commentator in the live recap from yesterday. (There may have been contractual or timing issues at hand that we don’t know about.)
  • Breaststroke will always be at a disadvantage, being a short axis stroke, having an open turn, being limited to just a pull-out as opposed to multiple underwater dolphin kicks, and starting first means your neighbors can catch and draft off of you as they approach.
  • I think it is a very good concept, I feel like it brings some of the fun and more friendly competition that the ISL seemed to espouse.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 month ago

the handicaps were so flawed. imagine if Qin and Pilato had broken the breaststroke WR and still lost the golden race? I’m glad Kaylee boycotted it, although given how close Masse got to the win, maybe a 58.0 back would have taken it?

1 month ago

Thanks for the analysis!!

1 month ago

breaststroke got destroyed in both… needed more of a head start lol

Reply to  jablo
1 month ago

The starts were definitely flawed. For the women why did breaststroke only get a 10 second head start over Free when there was a 12.5s difference in their winning times.

Last edited 1 month ago by Fish
Reply to  jablo
1 month ago

It’s definitely flawed. Both winning times were faster than the breaststroke world record. Are we saying a 54.06 free for women or a 53.66 backstroke for men are superior to all breaststroke times ever swum?

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Willswim
1 month ago

They are because they aren’t Breastroke