Kenderesi Edges Ivanov In 200 Fly Swim-Off; Both Come Home In 28


A swim-off kicked off day four at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, as Hungarian Tamas Kenderesi and Bulgarian Antani Ivanov battled head-to-head for a berth in the men’s 200 fly final on Wednesday night.

After tying for eighth in the semis in a time of 1:56.25, the two took a different approach to the swim-off.

They either played a game of possum or made an agreement beforehand, but either way, Kenderesi and Ivanov took the race extremely easy through the first 150 metres before launching into a mad sprint on the last 50 to get into the final.

Both sitting well over five seconds behind their semi-final pace with one lap to go, they turned on the jets and raced home. The Hungarian, who is known as one of the better closers in this race to begin with, trailed by 0.33 at the last wall but split 28.26 coming home to touch first and qualify for the final in 1:59.39.

Ivanov came back in 28.72, falling short of Kenderesi in 1:59.52.


Kenderesi Ivanov
26.96 27.33
58.56 (31.60) 58.84 (31.51)
1:31.13 (32.57) 1:30.80 (31.96)
1:59.39 (28.26) 1:59.52 (28.72)

The 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in this event, Kenderesi came into this meet ranked second in the world with his personal best time of 1:53.42 from the Hungarian Championships in March. He has looked off form thus far, but now has a chance to claim his first World Championship medal in the final.

Ivanov holds a best time of 1:55.55.

Kenderesi’s countryman Kristof Milak blazed through the semis, posting the top time of 1:52.96, and will be the man to beat.

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3 years ago

I’m very happy for Kenderesi, this was a heroic swimm for him with his injured knee(he will undergo surgerí right after the Worlds), he couldn’t train with legs for six weeks, but he didn”t make excuses for advance, I hope he will be in the top 6, he deserves it!

Paul Thomas
3 years ago

I doubt they had any agreement. It makes sense if you’re just racing one other person to not burn out, unless you think you’re way better than them endurance-wise.

It’s almost like a cycling track sprint, although it’s a bit harder to slipstream.

3 years ago

Makes sense for them- whoever the winner was would be a little screwed for tonight if they both had to race it

3 years ago

Been trying to get people to do this with me for years smh

3 years ago

This is what swimming’s about. Two men from different countries making agreements to make the 2 fly a little easier. Beautiful.

Greg Tucker
3 years ago

Gentlemen’s agreement. Pace 150, then sprint.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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