Prague Meet 2021
- May 28 – May 30, 2021
- Prague, Czech Republic
- Long Course Meters (50M)
Less than a week after the conclusion of the 2021 European Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary, a number of swimmers made the journey to Prague to compete again. Many of the swimmers at the meet have qualified to race this summer at the Olympics and likely used the meet for additional tune-up heading into the summer.
While many were not as quick as their performances at Euros, Czech swimmer Sebastian Lunak improved by more than a second in the men’s 200 butterfly. Lunak was a 2:00.00 to place 29th at European Championships but managed to hit a 1:58.45 to win the event in Prague. That swim was just above what it would have taken to qualify for the semi-finals at Euros (1:57.96).
Lunak’s winning swim in Prague was actually not a lifetime or season-best, however, as he hit a 1:57.77 at the Stockholm Open in April 2021. That’s still a bit over the FINA A standard in the event of 1:56.48.
The women’s 200 IM in Prague featured a race for gold between Turkey’s Viktoria Gunes and Hungary’s Dalma Sebestyen. Gunes wound up winning the event with a 2:13.48 while Sebestyen earned silver in a 2:14.19. While those are solid swims for the duo, both were a little bit slower than the 200 IM times they posted at the recent European Championships.
In Budapest, Sebestyen’s fastest swim was a 2:11.87 in the prelims which she followed up with a 2:12.34 in the semis and a 2:12.42 for 8th place in the final. Gunes on the other hand notch a 2:12.93 during the prelims in Budapest and a 2:12.79 in the semi-final which wasn’t fast enough to advance to the final. That 2:11.87 for Sebestyen at Euros marked a new PB while Gunes hold a 2:11.03 Turkish record as her fastest-ever time.
While she didn’t beat her time from Euros in the 200 IM, Viktoria Gunes improved upon her result in the 100 breast from Budapest with a 1:08.25 in Prague. Gunes’ 1:08.25 is around half a second quicker than the 1:08.83 she swam a week before in Budapest which gave her a 27th place finish, unable to advance to the semi-finals.
Gunes holds the Turkish record in the 100 breaststroke as well with her 1:06.77 from back in 2015 and raced the event for Turkey at the 2016 Olympics, placing 14th with a 1:07.41 in the semi-final. She has not yet, however, qualified to race the event in Tokyo this summer since she hasn’t gotten under the 1:07.07 FINA A cut since 2015. Gunes has thus far only qualified to race the 200 IM in Tokyo.
Other Notable Swims
- Marcin Cieslak and Szebaztian Szabo swam a 52.87 and 53.12 in the 100 fly, respectively, both trailing their swims from Euros (Cieslak: 52.58, Szabo: 51.45)
- Szebaztian Szabo also raced the 50 fly and hit a 23.74, trailing his gold medal-winning swim of 23.00 at Euros and his 22.90 Hungarian record.
- Sasha Touretski from Hungary won the 100 fly with a 1:00.08, getting within a second of her 59.17 PB from 2018.
- Poland’s Kacper Stokowski took gold in the 100 free with a 49.86 which was just off his recent PB of 49.57 from April.