2021 HUNGARIAN SPRING NATIONALS
World record holder and defending Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu won the 200 IM on the third day of the 2021 Hungarian Spring Nationals.
Swimming in a morning finals session on Thursday, Hosszu swam 2:11.47, though she said she felt faster than that, and had a goal of 2:10.
“Of course I’m never satisfied, not even now, especially since I wanted to come around 2:10,” Hosszu said after the swim. “You still have to plan for this morning swim to make it go really well, for example, you might have to get up even earlier… I felt it was a lot better now than yesterday, and then it turned out to be only two seconds faster.
“But this timing is obviously an excuse now, because if I’m in good shape, it doesn’t really matter whether I have to swim in the morning or evening. I’m glad I feel like everything is starting to come together, I can see how hard it is to work until the Olympics – but that’s very important after 2020, when the focus was completely lost due to the epidemic. I want to get into the European Championships in such a way that I can be proud of the times.”
That swim is around 5 seconds slower than her 20World record which she swam at World Championships in 2015. The win for Hosszu comes a day after she placed second with a 2:08.45 to Boglarka Kapas‘ winning 2:07.24 in the 200 fly.
Dalma Sebesttyén and Panna Ugrai joined Hosszu on the podium with a 2:12.61 and 2:16.29 for silver and bronze, respectively.
Kapas raced the 400 freestyle this morning and earned gold with a swim of 4:07.50 which trailed her PB from Rio 2016 by 5 seconds. The 200 fly World Champion swam the 400 free at the 2016 Olympic Games
Kapas was joined in the morning final by Ajna Késeley who swam a 4:10.28 for 2nd place. Késeley is the Hungarian National Record holder in the event after a 4:01.31 at last summer’s World Championships that placed her 4th, but Kapas was the record holder before that.
For Kapas, that time would have made the final at the most recent World Championships.
Szebasztián Szabó won on Thursday morning in the men’s 50 butterfly. The National Record holder swam to a 23.36 in the event to get within half a second of his best time in the event of 22.90 which he set with his 5th place performance at 2019 Worlds.
Kristóf Milák and Péter Holoda both dipped under the 24-second mark to join Szabó on the podium, Milák with a 23.50 for silver and Holoda a 23.96 for bronze. Milák’s time was just .02 seconds short of his personal best.
The 21-year old Milák turned heads earlier in the meet when he swam a 1:51 in the 200 fly.
While Milák settled for silver in the 50 fly, he swam to gold in the 400 freestyle with a 3:48.92, threatening his best time of 3:48.08 which he swam back in 2018 at the Youth Olympic Games. It was Milák’s third win of the meet, having picked up 200 fly and 50 free gold on day 1 of the meet.
Milák swam that race out of lane 8, though he said he didn’t mind being in the outside lane to avoid the pack in the middle of the pool.
After the race, he said that he needs some foreign exposure to push him in this race because he doesn’t have to push as hard to win in the domestic field. “It would be very necessary if I want to get to 3:44-45, because with such a weak (time of) 3:48, I am not going to do anything at an Olympics or World Championships.”
Gábor Zombori was second in the 400 free, just 2 seconds behind Milák with a 3:50.28. Coming in third in the event was open water specialist Kristóf Rasovszky with a 3:53.96.
The men’s 200 IM final went to 21-year old Balázs Holló (1:59.81) who got his hand on the wall just ahead of László Cseh‘s second-place swim of 2:00.36. Cseh is the current National Record holder, though at 35 he’s at the tail end of his career.
That’s Cseh’s best time since 2019 and is a dramatic improvement on the 2:05 that he swam in his last outing. Holló’s swim, meanwhile was a new PB and his first time under 2 minutes, improving upon his 2:01.51 from 2019.
Finals sessions are being swum in the morning this week to mimic the Tokyo timeline, which sees flipped heats and finals sessions to appease the American broadcasters.
Other Thursday Finals (Morning) Results
- Hungarian record holder in the 50 fly Beatrix Bordás won that event this morning with a 26.75 swim, narrowly edging out Dominika Varga‘s 26.84 for second. Bordás’ national record in the event currently sits at a 26.14 which she swam in 2018.
- Thursday morning’s relay was the men’s 4×200 freestyle in which Nándor Németh (1:47.59), Péter Csicsáky (1:53.32), Barnabás Kőhalmi Kornél (1:55.53), and Bendegúz Kovács Benedek (1:50.89) threw down the top time of 7:27.33.