Kenderesi & Milak Post 1:54’s In Hungarian 200 Fly Battle


The 2020 Hungarian Swimming Championships kicked off last night in Kaposvár, with the competition following the unique format of next year’s Olympic Games. That means we’re seeing prelims in the evening and finals the following morning, mimicking what the qualifying swimmers will experience in 2021.

As we mentioned in our meet preview, Hungary’s most successful Olympic swimmer Katinka Hosszu is opting out of this meet in order to focus on training for next year. Swimmers will have at least one more Olympic qualification opportunity in the form of the Hungarian Championships set for April.

The marquis race of this first day of finals was undoubtedly the men’s 200m butterfly, with the reigning Olympic Games bronze medalist Tomas Kenderesi battling current World Record holder Kristof Milak.

In last night’s prelim, Kenderesi got the upper hand, landing lane 4 in a super solid time of 1:55.86. That result outperformed Milak, who punched a prelim effort of 1:57.67, showing he’s coming back to form after fighting off coronavirus. His illness rendered the 20-year-old out of the International Swimming League (ISL) season 2.

This morning, Kenderesi whipped out an opening 100 meters of 55.44 and never looked back, getting to the wall first in a time of 1:54.64. Including Olympic performances, World and European Championships, 23-year-old Kenderesi’s time this morning represents the 7th fastest of his career. It also checks in as the #1 time in the world this season.

2020-2021 LCM Men 200 Fly

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Milak’s silver medal-worthy performance here of 1:54.98 was well off his World Record of 1:50.73, but that’s to be expected with this rocky road of 2020 with intermittent training, postponed meets and the man’s own battle with coronavirus we mentioned above.

As such, splitting 56.25/58.73, Milak’s 1:54.98 now renders him as the world’s #2 swimmer behind Kendersi, with both men easily dipping under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 1:56.48 needed for the 2016 Olympic Games. They were the only men to do so.

Of note, 35-year-old Hungarian Olympic icon Laszlo Cseh had qualified as the 7th fastest swimmer with a prelim swim of 2:01.49 but opted out of the final.

The top 3 men in last night’s 50m freestyle prelim remained in the same slots come this morning’s final, as Maxim Lobanovszkij took the meet title in a time of 21.84 followed by Nandor Nemeth and Szebasztian Sabo. Nemeth touched in 22.36 while Szabo was right behind in 22.39.

Last night Lobanovszkij produced an impressive mark of 21.77, a time which represented the best of his career. Although he was a hair slower this morning, the 24-year-old’s gold medal-worthy swim puts his name on the list for Olympic consideration, dipping under the FINA ‘A’ cut of 22.01 needed for the postponed 2020 Games in Tokyo, Japan.

25-year-old Adam Telegdy swam lights out already here in the men’s 100m back, posting a prelims time last night of 53.72 to capture the top seed. Telegdy split 25.99/27.73 to produce the fastest time of his career by a mile.

Entering this meet, Telegdy’s career-quickest rested at the 54.44 he logged at the Hungarian Championships in March. Telegdy’s 53.72 time last night came within striking distance of Cseh’s national record of 53.40, a standard that’s been on the books since 2012.

Come this morning’s final, however, and Telegdy couldn’t quite capture the same magic. Although still putting up the 2nd best time of his career, Telegdy hit the wall in a mark of 54.30, outside the 53-zone he produced last night. His time in this final also sits outside the minimum Olympic qualification standard of 53.85 needed for the Tokyo Olympics.

Csaba Szilagyi/Čaba Silađi of Serbia remained as the only sub-minute 100m breaststroke between last night’s prelims and this morning’s final. The 30-year-old veteran hit a time of 59.76 to position himself as the leader, while today he was a tad slower in 59.99.

The next closest competitor was that of Valentin Bayer, with the Austrian producing a time of 1:00.41 as the runner-up. That held off a charging Austrian in Christopher Rothbauer, who rounded out the top 3 just .06 later in 1:00.47.

Katalin Burian was oh-so-close to getting under the Olympic qualifying time of 1:00.25 in last night’s 100m back prelim. The ISL Aqua Centurions member posted a mark of 1:00.29 to capture the top seed, but this morning’s final didn’t bring the same type of result.

Instead, it was 17-year-old Gerda Szilagyi who surged to the wall first, getting there in a time of 1:01.09. Burian was only .04 away from gold, settling for silver in 1:01.13 instead.

The women’s 100m breast saw FGCU swimmer Petra Halmai get it done for gold in a monster personal best of 1:08.02. Entering this meet, the Eagle’s PB in this 1breast rested at the 1:09.42 she put up December of 2019. She already lowered that down to 1:08.59 in last night’s prelim before getting into near-sub-1:08 territory with a winning mark of 1:08.02.

Halmai will need to continue these types of time drops to get into the 1:07.07 Olympic cut-type waters, however.

Last night’s top-seeded Boglarka Kapas landed lane 4 in the women’s 200m fly in a time of 2:07.97. That not only produced the only sub-2:10 time of the field, but the reigning world champion’s time easily cleared the FINA ‘A’ cut of 2:08.43.

Kapas opted out of this morning’s final, which left Zsuzsanna Jakabos room to spread her wings in pursuit of gold. And, the 31-year-old was successful, posting 2:10.06 to claim the meet title. That beat out Kesely who touched in 2:10.96 for another near-personal best in the event.

Additional Winners:

  • 19-year-old Ajna Kesely took the women’s 800m free in a time of 8:37.45, hitting the only time of the field under 8:40. A time of 8:22.01 is what she produced for European Championships silver in 2018 and she’ll need to be closer to that type of performance come April’s Championships in order to try to book her spot on the nation’s Olympic roster.
  • Visiting Austrian swimmer Nina Gangl topped the women’s 50m free podium in a time of 25.59.
  • A to-the-touch dual transpired in the men’s 1500m free, with Gergely Gyurta edging out Akos Kalmar by just .13 when all was said and done. Gyurta reached a time of 15:08.50, while Kalmar was immediately behind in 15:08.63. Both men needed to post at least 15:00.99 to knock 1500m free Olympic qualification off their to-do lists.

Olympic Times Met by HUN Swimmers Through Day 1 at these Championships:

Here is a list of Hungarian swimmers who have achieved Olympic ‘A’ cuts overall since March 2019:

Eszter Békési – 200 m breast
Péter Bernek – 200m/400m IM
Bence Biczó – 200m fly
Richárd Bohus – 100m back
Katalin Burián – 200m back
László Cseh – 200m IM, 100m/200m fly
Gergely Gyurta – 400m IM, 1500m free
Balázs Holló – 400m IM
Katinka Hosszú – 200m/400m free, 100m/200m back, 100m/200m fly, 200m/400m IM
Zsuzsanna Jakabos – 200m fly
Ákos Kalmár – 1500m freee
Boglárka Kapás  – 400m/1500m free, 200m fly
Tamás Kenderesi – 200m fly
Ajna Késely  – 400m/800m/1500m free
Dominik Kozma  – 200m free
Maxim Lobanovszkij – 50m free
Viktória Mihályvári-Farkas – 1500m free
Kristóf Milák – 100m/200m free, 200m fly
Nándor Németh – 100m free
Szebasztián Szabó – 100m free, 100m fly
Liliána Szilágyi – 200m fly
Ádám Telegdy – 100m/200m back
Dávid Verrasztó – 400m IM
Gábor Zombori – 400m free


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6 months ago

Milak with dat 58.7 back end after recovering from Covid. I think he’ll go 1:52 in april.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Waader
6 months ago

As a swimmer who unfortunately also had Covid, I can definitely say that it’s not easy coming back from it. Fatigue stays for a while. I don’t know how rested he is, but even if he’s fully rested, he will bounce back. Milak is a generational talent, he’ll find a way.

Reply to  Waader
6 months ago

That’s got to be up there with the fastest back-end splits.

Milak’s WR closing split is sub-58, which is insane. Phelps was 58.47 in 2007, Matsuda 58.56 and Cseh 58.11 in Beijing. I can’t imagine anyone other than those guys closing sub-59 ever. Seto was 59.1 in his Asian record.

Reply to  Joe
6 months ago

Kenderesi at Hungarian Nationals (1:53.42, PB) in 2019 swam 58.55, 58.87 in Rio semifinal, 58.95 in 2018, Nationals. He has to be faster in the 1st 100. I think that’s what his team is trying now.
Milák also needed time how to swim the 200 fly. In 2018 1:52.71 (53.92, 58.79), 1:52.79 (52.76, 1:00.3)

Reply to  Joe
6 months ago

Kenderesi has closed a 200fl in 58s about half a dozen times. Dude loves a backhalf.

Reply to  Joe
6 months ago

pretty sure chad swam a 58 bach half in his infamous london 1.52

Reply to  Anonymoose
6 months ago


Ol' Longhorn
6 months ago

Cseh has done a 53.4 100 back? Didn’t know he was that good. Phelps went 53.01 and Lochte was probably around there.

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
6 months ago

Yes, in the final of the medley relay at London Olympics.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
6 months ago

It should be noted that Phelps dropped a 53.0 only like 20 minutes after swimming a 1:44 200 free, and not fully tapered as well, in an ancient FS II tech suit

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
6 months ago

As far as I can tell, Lochte’s best is a 53.3 from the 2008 Olympics Trials, where he was just out-touched by Grevers into 3rd.

Worth pointing out that when Phelps went 53.01, the WR was Piersol’s 52.98.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Joe
6 months ago

Lochte was gassed after the 4:06.08 400 IM lol. He went 53.5 at worlds with a broken foot too.

6 months ago


About today. Jakabos (200 fly), Késely,(400,800,1500), Kalmár, Gyurta (1500), Cseh (100,200 fly but 3rd in Hungary and 200 IM), Németh (100 free), Szabó (100 free and fly) already swam faster than A standard in the qualification period.

Reply to  Retta Race
6 months ago

OK, thanks.

Reply to  Retta Race
6 months ago


Reply to  Retta Race
6 months ago

Milák 200 free, 100/200 fly.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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