Fangli Changes From Romania To Hungary, Tjon-A-Joe Now For Netherlands

While covering international meets this week, two significant changes in sporting citizenship have come to light.

First, Henrietta Fangli confirmed to SwimSwam that she is now representing Hungary internationally instead of her native Romania. She is a multiple Romanian national record holder, owning the LCM 50 breast (32.23) and 100 breast (1:09.25) benchmarks.

Already Fangli has started having an impact on the Hungarian record board.

Racing at the 2024 Hungarian National Championships, Fangli fired off a new lifetime best of 1:07.50 to take the women’s 100m breaststroke title.

Fangli split 32.30/32.20 to crush her previous career-quickest time of 1:09.25 produced at the 2023 edition of the competition. Additionally, Fangli’s result overtook the Hungarian national record of 1:07.79 Agnes Kovacs put on the books nearly 25 years ago at the 2000 Olympic Games.

Fangli’s result qualifies for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, if her citizenship change is approved.

She says that she just switched club teams in 2024, but has had Hungarian citizenship since 2013 when Hungary granted citizenship to 300,000 ethnic Hungarians living outside of the country’s border. That included about 280,000 who lived in Romania, and especially Transylvania where Fangli is from and much of which was part of Hungary prior to the 1920 Treaty of Trianon.

The second international move came from Renzo Tjon-a-Joe, with the 28-year-old shifting from native Suriname to now represent the Netherlands.

His Instagram post on March 26th of this year displays pictures from his citizenship ceremony where Tjon-a-Joe commented, “Excited to represent the Netherlands on the international stage.”


Tjon-a-Joe is a multiple Surinamese national record holder including the LCM 50m free (21.88), 100m free (48.80) and 50m fly (24.35).

He is currently racing at the 2024 Eindhoven Qualification Meet, an Olympic selection competition. He already earned Paris 2024 selection with his lifetime best of 21.88 in the 50m free from the 2023 edition of the competition. As long as no swimmer beats that time, he may be headed to his 3rd Games.

Suriname is a former Dutch colony which has competed independently at the Olympics since 1960 but achieved political independence in 1975.

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1 month ago

Looking at Renzo’s recent results, seems like the move was well-planned beforehand. He has not represented Suriname on the international stage since Tokyo (3 years), which is what the new World Aquatics rule requires (although he could have gotten a waiver from the rule).

Gáll András
1 month ago

You have forgotten to mention that Fangli is an ethnic Hungarian from Marosvásárhely (lately they call the city Tirgu Mures in Romania) and is automatically entitled to get a Hungarian passport. She has practically returned home.

Andrew N
Reply to  Gáll András
1 month ago

I believe the “Hungarian granted citizenship” sentence is incorrect. The idea is that Hungary granted citizenship to ethnic Hungarians who are Romanian citizens, not ethnic Romanians.

Andrew N
Reply to  Andrew N
1 month ago

Whoops, that wasn’t meant to be a reply to you, András, just an additional supporting comment.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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