Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh Tops Off Career With Ceremonial Swim (Video)


As we reported, 35-year-old Laszlo Cseh of Hungary was set to dive in once more after having announced his post-Olympics retirement, giving us one last performance at this FINA World Cup in Budapest.

At Duna Arena, surrounded by fellow athletes, coaches and other pillars of Hungarian Swimming, Cseh swam an unofficial 100m IM, taking on a special rival with each leg.

South African Chad Le Clos was set to swim the butterfly but is out with an injury; therefore, Peter Bernek was in the water for that leg before handing the backstroke over to Sandor Wladar, president of the federation who was also the 1980 Olympic champion in the 200m back.

Miklso Kissz, Cseh’s past coach in his early years, dove in for breaststroke before the entire Hungarian national team showed up to get wet for the free. Kristof Milak and Katinka Hosszu were among the huge stars who honored Cseh in this special ceremony.

Video of the race can be seen below, courtesy of Best Swimming on YouTube.

Tokyo represented Cseh’s 5th straight Olympic Games, with the dynamic athlete having reached at least one individual final across each one. He is a 6-time Olympic medalist and although he never reached the absolute top of the podium, the man collected 4 silvers and 2 bronze medals.

The heyday of Cseh’s career coincided with that of Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte pitting the Hungarian against the powerful combination in the IM events and Phelps in the butterfly on multiple occasions. At the 2016 Games in Rio, Cseh was among the trio of silver medalists, along with Phelps and South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, who all tied for runners-up in the 100m fly behind winner Joseph Schooling of Singapore.

Photos of the emotional event can be seen on FINA’s website here.

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Jim L
1 year ago

This was fantastic. Laszlo is a fantastic competitor, I never read any articles where he trash talked other swimmers. He is one of the giants of the sport in that he was always there to push everyone.

1 year ago

If you mean “he’ll compete in Paris,” then I’d take that bet.

Hungary is a deep swimming country. In deep swimming countries, it’s not always about “you choosing when you’re done with the Olympics,” but sometimes the Olympics choose when you’re done with them.

Hubert Kos was 1:56.99 in May as a teenager. Balazs Hollo was 1:59.81 in march at 21 and has a big upward trajectory. There’s some other good young talent coming up behind (probably inspired by Lazslo).

That means in that bet I get both “whether he wants to” and “whether he makes the team,” and I like my odds there.

1 year ago

He was my favourite… My Laszlo… Idk why but he always seemed quiet and a nice person which made him my favourite person among these oyher swimmers. Just so sympathethic. And the fact he never shone…

Big Kicker
1 year ago

So so cool

On a side note, must be a fairly significant injury for Le Clos to keep him out of an easy 25 fly

1 year ago

Beautiful! First time I see him in the water with hair.

Fina Fide
1 year ago

Always respected and feared this guy. Great, great, great career. Congrats LC.

Let’s Go Brandon!
1 year ago

A 100 IM for the ages!
What a wonderfully moving ceremony. The man is beloved and respected by his countrymen!

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Let’s Go Brandon!
1 year ago

Yes, absolutely. Very deeply moving.

Reply to  Let’s Go Brandon!
1 year ago

One of the classiest acts I’ve seen in this sport. I hope he stays involved in the sport beyond his competition days.

1 year ago

I think he was not just mine or Hungary’s but the worlds favorite underdog.

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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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