Hungary Breaks 800 Free Relay National Record with Milak’s 1:44 Anchor

2021 HUNGARIAN SPRING NATIONALS

Day two rolled on at the 2021 Hungarian Spring Nationals, with the quartet of Gabor ZomboriNandor NemethBalazs Hollo and Kristof Milak combining to set a new Hungarian national record in the 4×200 free relay at 7:07.67.

SPLITS

NEW RECORD – 7:07.67 OLD RECORD – 7:08.24
Zombori – 1:48.79 Cseh – 1:45.78
Nemeth – 1:46.67
Bernek – 1:47.88
Hollo – 1:47.35
Povazsay – 1:47.99
Milak – 1:44.86 Kis – 1:46.59

The big splits today were Nemeth’s 1:46.67 second leg and, of course, the huge anchor from Milak at 1:44.86. Milak has been swimming extremely well this week, including going a best time of 22.19 in the 50 free to win the event this morning, and his freestyle has looked especially good (at least, in comparison to his own bests– he went 1:51.40 in the 200 fly, which is faster than any other swimmer has ever gone).

Milak’s best time in the 200 free, flat-start, is a 1:46.68 from December.

This is also a young relay– nobody on the relay was born before 1999, while lead-off leg Zombori was born in 2002. They beat the old record, which had Laszlo Cseh and was done in 2009, while they also went way faster than the Hungarian relay went at 2019 Worlds (7:13.64). Milak was also not on the relay at Worlds.

In Olympics context, this was a key swim for Hungary. They had previously sat with the third of four wildcard spots from their 2019 Worlds time, which had them at the #15 slot out of 16 total slots that get invited. The top 12 teams at Worlds, plus four wildcards, get selected to race in Tokyo.

Hungary now sits at the #1 wildcard spot by more than five seconds, which should easily qualify them for Tokyo. Their time today is also ninth on the below list. While their swim today puts them atop the wildcard rankings, it doesn’t displace any teams as they were already a wildcard team, so no countries are actually pushed out.

Editor’s note: FINA doesn’t officially publish an up-to-date ranking for relay qualifying, so we’ve done our best to compile the current rankings manually.

Country Criteria Time
Australia Worlds #1 7:00.85
Russia Worlds #2 7:01.81
United States Worlds #3 7:01.98
Italy Worlds #4 7:02.01
Great Britain Worlds #5 7:02.04
China Worlds #6 7:04.74
Brazil Worlds #7 7:07.64
Germany Worlds #8 7:07.65
Japan Worlds #9 7:09.23
Israel Worlds #10 7:11.99
Poland Worlds #11 7:12.01
Switzerland Worlds #12 7:12.08
Hungary Wildcard #1 7:07.67
Belgium Wildcard #2 7:12.99
New Zealand Wildcard #3 7:13.06
Ireland Wildcard #4 7:13.91
France Out #1 7:14.23
Canada Out #2 7:14.01
South Korea Out #3 7:15.05
Serbia Out #4 7:15.28

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Reid
5 months ago

Is Kozma done then?

choosy
Reply to  Reid
5 months ago

Absolutely not, we’ll see on Friday, how they swim individually, I am sure, Dominik will be part of the team, and maybe Bernek as well.

Waader
Reply to  Reid
5 months ago

I’m pretty sure they just picked whoever they could get for now to put up a good time and selection for the actual relay will be later. Keep in mind they also still have Europeans to go.

Joe
5 months ago

For comparison, in the 2019 Worlds, only Horton split faster (by 0.01), though Duncan Scott’s 1:44.91 lead off probably “converts” to a quicker time.

Robbos
Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

Yet all the punters talk about Scott being a contender & now Milak being a contender, but no-one mentions that maybe Horton might be a contender for the 200 free.
He swam well within himself in that 4x 200 WC19 final & blew them away in the final 50.

Last edited 5 months ago by Robbos
Troyy
Reply to  Robbos
5 months ago

I really hope Horton can pull off the double taper but I have my doubts.

Waader
Reply to  Robbos
5 months ago

With how deep the Australian field is, I doubt Horton will be a contender, he either has to be at his best at Aus trials, in which he might put up a #1 time of the year, or there’s a good chance he won’t make it individually. I think in general middle/distance swimmers suffer most from the double taper.

Hswimmer
5 months ago

😵😵😵😵

Justhereforfun
5 months ago

I really hope that the recent army of 1:45-1:44 swimmers can push each other to do something special anytime soon. I find myself watching Agnel or Phelp’s 1:43 textile swims (or even Thorpe’s 1:44.0) pretty often because I feel like it’s been so long since someone swam a REALLY good 200 free

Last edited 5 months ago by Justhereforfun
Joe
Reply to  Justhereforfun
5 months ago

So it’s not just me who does this then 😀

All three are so different too. Agnel with his raw speed and range (he’s just fast). Phelps with his phenomenal underwaters and controlled, loping stroke. Thorpe could’ve been given a kickboard and still gone 1:45.

Tommy Schmitt
Reply to  Justhereforfun
5 months ago

I must have watched Agnel’s 200 free in London at least 50 times …

PVK
Reply to  Justhereforfun
5 months ago

When will that 1:42.00 mark go down, if ever? I think it may be on the books for at least another decade…

BDL Swim
5 months ago

I wonder if Milak – not Dressel – will be the men’s star of the 2021 Olympics. If Milak’s swimming 1:51/1:52s in the 200 fly consistently, and his speed is getting better, that bodes well for a very competitive 100 fly.

Hswimmer
Reply to  BDL Swim
5 months ago

Just 1 event. I don’t think he will be able to challenge Dressel in the 100 tbh, he will just push Dressel to go faster. I also think Maxime Rooney or tom shields whoever is second, will get a medal.

Swimfan
Reply to  BDL Swim
5 months ago

Nope. Dressel can win 3 individual events and 3 or 4 relays. Milak can win 1 individual event and has no chance at a relay medal.

Waader
Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

I’m not saying it will happen, but I can totally see milak upset dressel and grab a 200m free medal. It’s just up there in my cloud of possibilities.

If that will happens it’s hard to differentiate who is a greater swimmer. Both will have 2 individual golds and a third minor. Dressel will have more relay medals. Maybe dressel will also throw down a great 200m free, but from the way milak is looking wouldn’t put it beyond him to put up an insane 100 free in a relay. It will just be hard to call.

Swimfan
Reply to  Waader
5 months ago

The only chance that he beats Dressel in the 100 fly is if Dressel isn’t at his best. In that case Dressel might also not win the 100 free and the 50 free. Seto could also win 2 individual golds and a silver. Personally i would bet on Seto ending up with a better medal tally than Milak.

Max Hardie
Reply to  Waader
5 months ago

Dressel will not win the 200 free! And I doubt he can beat Chalmers, the current Olympic champion and most talented of all.

Robbos
Reply to  Max Hardie
5 months ago

Not much credit has been given to King Kyle, who is younger then Dressel & already the 100 free Olympic champion.

bigNowhere
Reply to  Max Hardie
5 months ago

Chalmers is awesome, but Dressel can beat him in the 100 free if that is what you’re talking about. Dressel beat him at the last world championships in 2019, going 46.96 to Chalmers’ 47.08.

But if you are talking about the 200, then yeah, I think Chalmers beats Dressel in that one, assuming both swim it.

Robbos
Reply to  bigNowhere
5 months ago

It will be a great race, but the difference there is nothing. Chalmers can just as easily beat Dressel, he’s going for back to back 100 golds like the Duke, Tazan, PVH & Popov.

Luigi
Reply to  Waader
5 months ago

Since when Dressel swims the 200 free?

Troyy
Reply to  Luigi
5 months ago

I think they mean upset Dressel in the 100 fly and win a 200 free medal.

Max Hardie
Reply to  BDL Swim
5 months ago

Don’t you think Chalmers will beat Dressel in 100 free? I do think so.

Troyy
Reply to  BDL Swim
5 months ago

He’s from the wrong country to be the star of any Olympics.

Attis
Reply to  Troyy
5 months ago

And what is that supposed to mean? I’d like to think that Katinka Hosszu – also from Hungary – was one of the handful of stars in Rio 2016. Or am I biased?

Troyy
Reply to  Attis
5 months ago

Nah, I’m just saying that what country an athlete is from can greatly impact how much fame and profit they can make from their success in the pool. I was definitely not trying to say anything negative about Hungary.

Swimfan
Reply to  Attis
5 months ago

Dressel can realistically win 3 or 4 relay golds in Tokyo, Milak can realistically win zero medals in relays. Obviously the number of golds is the most important thing when people decide about the biggest star of the olympic games.

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  BDL Swim
5 months ago

I actually think he has more potential in 200/400 free than 100 fly if he trains seriously for them. He’s more of a middle distance swimmer than a sprinter.

Dave
5 months ago

Just wanna throw out there, James Guy and Townley Hass have been 1.43.80 in a relay!!!!

sqimgod
Reply to  Dave
5 months ago

Interestingly sun yang has been 1:43.16 in a relay

Waader
Reply to  sqimgod
5 months ago

Yes, but both of those were at very high stakes international meets. This was done in an empty pool. I could easily see milak go 1:43 in the Olympic focal of the relay. Not that the team is good enough to medal anyways.

Swimfan
Reply to  Waader
5 months ago

Easily go 1:43 when this was the first time he ever split sub 1:45 and it was a 1:44 high … ?
Thanks for the laugh!

Joe
Reply to  sqimgod
5 months ago

Fastest flying split in history funnily enough, despite being over a second behind the flat start WR.

Peak Phelps and supersuited Biedermann always led off the relays. Agnel in 2012 was eating on the GOAT’s afterwake when he split 1:43.24.

Robbos
Reply to  sqimgod
5 months ago

Yet Horton blew both Haas & Guy in the final lap of the 4 x200 in Gwangju, with Yang also in the race but China were a fair way behind.

Swimfan
5 months ago

Really surprised by this swim. I didn’t think that he could be a medal contender in this event at the olympics. Kos has a good chance to make the 200 IM final (maybe also the 400 IM medal). “Interesting” that Hungary got another potential olympic medalist out of nowhere. After Hosszu retires, i don’t see them winning any medals on the women’s side in the near future, but Milak and Kos alone could combine for 3 or 4 medals at each big competition in the next couple of years. Zombori, Kenderesi and Nemeth could combine for another 1 or 2 medals. The future of hungarian swimming seems secured.

Brownish
Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

We’ll see Kozma in 200 free.
Kapás is the reigning European and World champion in 200 fly e.g. 😉

Swimfan
Reply to  Brownish
5 months ago

1) Not sure why you brought up Kozma, he is irrelevant when it comes to potential medalists.
2) Kapas won because the field was insanely weak. I see absolutely no chance that she wins a medal unless she improves by at least a second + it isn’t like she is some young talent, so she won’t be enough for long after the retirement of Hosszu and very likely won’t go much faster for the rest of her career. When you have to name a (soon to be) 28 year old as your best shot for medals in the future, it already shows how dire the situation is.

Brownish
Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago
  1. We’ll see. Please don’t forget what you wrote about Kozma.
  2. Drabot, Flickinger, Hentke, Thomas… Yes, you are right. Insanely weak.
  3. About “interesting”. If you didn’t know about Kós your knowledge is poor.
  4. Not the best, one of them.
  5. Not the situation is dire.
  6. Bye.
Waader
Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

Milak is my dark horse in the 200m freestyle. Has been since 2019 worlds. There’s something about great 200m fly swimmers that gives them an edge in the 200 free.

Attis
Reply to  Swimfan
5 months ago

I really like what you wrote about our swimming future. If only that “interesting” part wasn’t in it. What are you implying? Isn’t Hungary a swimming powerhouse (kind of) since the beginning of modern Olympics? Isn’t Hungary won the first ever swimming gold (100 Free – Alfred Hajós). I thought we have a reputation with one of the greatest swimmers and coaches in the World. And we are on the 4th(!) place on the medal table of Olympics after US, Aus and East Germany (maybe you mixed them up with us). Egerszegi, Darnyi, Gyurta, Kovacs, Rozsa Güttler, Hosszu, Milak, etc. Guess I was wrong…

Last edited 5 months ago by Attis
Troyy
Reply to  Attis
5 months ago

They’re implying what it seems they’re implying and it’s not the first time they’ve done it about Milak over the last couple of days and I’m surprised the comments haven’t been removed but I guess it’s vague enough to have been missed. Here’s another one:

https://swimswam.com/milak-hits-152-5-kapas-drops-206-9-in-200-fly-at-hungarian-champs-prelims/#comment-879458

Waader
5 months ago

Why does it feel like the swimswam staff is writing a milak fan fiction with this meet?

Brownish
Reply to  Waader
5 months ago

Perhaps because of his achievement?

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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