Disclaimer: Dolfin Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Dolfin Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
As meet results begin to trickle in amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, young and fast-rising swimmers are grabbing the spotlight with big time drops despite some training and pool access barriers.
Hungary’s Hubert Kos is the latest. The 17-year-old crushed a 4:15.77 in the 400 IM last week, smashing a national age record in Hungary’s storied record books. Kos cut more than two seconds off a David Verraszto age record from 2005. In fact, Kos finished second in his race to Verraszto himself, now 31 years old and a two-time World Champs silver medalist in the 400 IM.
Kos’s time is outstanding, even ignoring the impact of the pandemic on training for such a long and grueling event. Kos’s 4:15.77 would have won bronze at last summer’s World Junior Championships. The United States tracks age records in two-year age brackets – and though Kos is on the younger end of the 17-18 group, he would already rank 10th in USA Swimming history. Outside of the great Michael Phelps (4:09.09 as an 18-year-old in the same year Kos was born), no American junior has been under 4:12.
Kos will remain World Junior Record eligible for the remainder of this year and all of next year. The current World Junior Record in the 400 IM is 4:11.93 set by Greece’s Apostolos Papastamos at last summer’s World Junior Championships. Prior to last week, Kos’s career-best was 4:20.90, so the improvement trajectory is certainly on his side.
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