Katinka Hosszu Wins 200 IM, But Misses Goal on Day 3 of Hungarian 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.

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5 months ago

Cseh vs Lochte 200IM in Tokyo, let’s see it one more time.

Reply to  PeatyPiper
5 months ago

I was going to say the same thing. I love that middle-aged middle distance swimming is now a thing. 😀
Don’t let the old sprinters get all the glory!

5 months ago

Milak wants to take the 400 free seriously? Interesting, it will be exciting to see what he can do at trials

Reply to  Khachaturian
5 months ago

Isn’t this event the hungarian version of the trials?

Reply to  Khachaturian
5 months ago

Hungarians are just made differently tbh

5 months ago

Any Hungarian fans can give us some insights into Cseh’s chance of getting qualified for Olympics? I can’t find English version of Hungary’s selection rules.

Reply to  whever
5 months ago

If I am not mistaken he is qualified for 200IM. And actually there is no chance for him to qualify for other events.

hey there
Reply to  jeki
5 months ago

According to the Hungarian selection system, if a swimmer is one of the top 2 times and under “A” cut upon the completion of Nationals (end of this week), then the swimmer is guaranteed a spot and qualified for the Olympics. Thereby, Cseh is still qualified for 200IM with his time from Worlds ’19 (1.57 something), but Csaba Sos, the head of national team, said that he will re-evaluate some events due to the postponement of the Olympics. Thus, Cseh may be dropped, because he was not able to get close to his time from Gwangju in the past 2 years. Hungary is organizing the Europeans in May, so Holló and Cseh may have a swim-off there for the spot.… Read more »

Reply to  whever
5 months ago

According to the original qualification rules he just qualified for the 200IM. (This is the last event of the Hungarian qualification period, 2 best times swum in the period qualifies) However head coach Sós said that he will not close qualification in certain events as he is not sure anymore that this rule still helps the selection of the 2 best swimmers due to the pandemic situation. He plans to publish the list of closed events and qualified swimmers about next Wednesday. In those events where Hungary has no 2 A cut swimmers yet there is a possibility to qualify till the end of the global qualification period.

Last edited 5 months ago by tkrisz
Tea rex
5 months ago

“Such a weak 3:48…”

5 months ago

1) What happened to Kos in the 200 IM?
2) Could someone from Hungary maybe tell me what is going on with Zombori in the 400 free? Is he already qualified for the olympics and didn’t have to swim faster?

Reply to  Swimfan1
5 months ago

Kos dropped 200 IM final. He is focusing on 400 IM now.

Reply to  Swimfan1
5 months ago

1) Kós scratched from the 200 IM because he garanteed his spot in that event with his prelims swim. He tries to qualify in the 400 IM as well, which is going to be a hard one with Verrasztó and Bernek gatekeeping the event.
2) Zombori is the only Hungarian with an “A” standard in the 400 free, and as such he was in a pretty safe spot, I don’t know how much he prepared for this meet, maybe his focus is already on the Europeans and the Olympics.

5 months ago

I think Alex Walsh has a good shot at getting an Olympic medal, first she’ll have to beat Margalis, Baked, and Cox.

5 months ago

After blitzing it in Rio, what do people think are Hosszu‘s prospects in Tokyo?