2021 Olympic Preparation Competition
- February 16-17, 2021
- Spike Swimming Pool, Budapest, Hungary
- Long Course Meters
The Hungarian Swimming Association returned to the pool on Wednesday in the second day of their two-day Olympic prep meet. The meet gives Hungarian swimmers another chance to compete in long course in the lead-up to the Tokyo games. With events limited to 30 swimmers per event, many of Hungary’s top swimmers are competing this week.
Wednesday kicked-off with the 400 freestyle. Ajna Késely, who won the 1500 yesterday, picked-up her second victory of the meet. Késely, who was less than half a second ahead of Katinka Hosszú at the 300 mark, used a 1:02.32 final 100 to pull ahead of Hosszú to finish in 4:12.59 and under the Olympic Selection Time of 4:15.34. Hosszú placed second in 4:15.39 while Gál Kinscö placed third in 4:17.61. Késely’s best of 4:01.31 came at the 2019 World Championships and her best time in 2020 was 4:09.05. Hosszú was seven seconds faster than she was ten days ago and her fastest time since World Champs. The 17-year old Kinscö was four seconds off her best of 4:13.32
Kristóf Milák, who won both the 50 butterfly and 50 free yesterday, used his closing speed to win his third event of the meet. Gábor Zombori was ahead of at every turn through the 350 mark. Milák turned it up at the 350 with a 27.36 final 50 to finish at 3:54.88 to Zombori’s 3:55.70. Nándor Németh placed third in 3:56.44. Nemeth’s swim was a personal best for him, as he dropped under 4:00 for the first time. Both Milák and Zombori were faster in Nice last week.
The women’s race was a close one between Boglárka Kápas and Szimonetta Galamb as Galamb was 0.04 ahead of Kápas at the halfway point. Kápas had the stronger second fifty and finished first in 1:01.20 with Galamb at 1:01.34. Hosszú placed third in 1:02.25. Kápas’s best of 1:00.08 came in December at the Hungarian Championship.
Milák, the Hungarian record holder in this event, opted not to swim this event and opened the door up for other racers. Bálint Pap led from the start and finished in 55.66, his best swim since the summer of 2020. László Cseh came in second in 55.80, just off his time from earlier this month of 55.56. Bence Biczó and Márk Mizsei tied for third in 56.26. The 17-year old Mizsei was about a half-second off his best of 55.79 from December of last year.
Katalin Burián followed-up her victory in the 50 backstroke by taking top honors in the 100, winning the race by nearly three seconds in 1:01.57. The battle for second and third featured a pair of 14-year olds. Dorá Molnár placed second in 1:04.36, the second fastest time of her young career and Lora Komoróczy taking third in 1:04.51, her third fastest swim ever.
Adám Telegdy, who has been dropping consistent time in this event over the past two years, claimed first in 54.88, a little more than a second from his best of 53.72 which was set this past December. Benedek Kovács, the winner of the 50 back yesterday, placed second in 56.10 and Zombori was third in 57.85.
Hosszú, who has swum every event at the meet thus far, took home first in 1:13.90, out-touching Fruzsina Mácsok by two-tenths of a second. Mácsok had the quicker opening 50, 35.29 to Hosszú’s 35.66 but the Iron Lady used her endurance to take over in the second half of the race. Lea Ganczer took third in 1:16.25. Hosszú’s swim was nearly two seconds faster than the 1:15.74 she swam at Nice ten days ago and her fastest time since the start of 2020.
Tamás Takács, who finished third in yesterday’s 50 breaststroke, picked-up the victory in the 100 finishing in 1:03.02, just a tenth slower than the 1:02.92 he swam at the Hungarian Championships in December. Dávid Horváth, the winner of yesterday’s 50 breast placed second in 1:03.59 while Dominik Márk Török claimed third in 1:03.82. This was a best time for Török, dropping nearly a second from his previous best of 1:04.68.
The focus of the meet’s final session was on the 200 distance of events.
Kápas, the winner of Wednesday morning’s 100 butterfly, used a key fast third fifty to win her second event of the day. Kápas was just 0.35 of Hosszú’s at the halfway point. She split 32.94 to Hosszú’s 34.19 finishing in 2:10.75. Hosszú finished in second in 2:12.64 and Késely rounded-out the top-3 in 2:13.02. Hosszú was over two seconds faster than in her swim at Nice.
World Record holder in the men’s 200 butterfly, Kristóf won this event in 1:57.44, just a bit slower than his 1:56.80 in Nice earlier this month. Dávid Verrasztó, the winner of Tuesday’s 400 IM placed second in 1:58.61 and Márk Tekauer placed third in 2:02.64.
Burián swept the backstroke events at this meet, finishing the 200 in 2:09.15, more than two seconds ahead of second-place finisher Szabó-Feltóthy (2:11.64). Hosszú was a distant third in 2:17.03. Burián’s time was just a hair slower than the 2:08.92 she posted at the Hungarian Championships in December.
Following-up his win in Wednesday morning’s 100 backstroke, Telegdy repeated at the 200 distance. Leading by only 0.07 at the 50, Telegdy opened up a one-second lead at the 100 and never looked back, finishing with the only sub-2:00 time of the field in 1:59.40, just over three seconds slower than his best swim from December at the Hungarian Championships. Kovács claimed his second second-place finish of the day in 2:01.98 and Verrasztó, swimming back-to-back events, was third in 2:04.51.
Just as we saw Wednesday morning in the 100 breaststroke, the women’s race was a duel between Mácsok and Hosszú. Hosszú was out to the early lead, hitting the first turn at 36.23, 0.07 ahead of Mácsok. Mácsok took the lead on the second fifty, touching the halfway mark in 1:16.43, 0.07 ahead of Hosszú. Mácsok’s lead would grow over the third fifty, as she turned 1.20 ahead of Hosszú. Hosszú had the fastest last length but it wouldn’t be enough to catch Mácsok as she won in 2:36.27 with Hosszú in second in 2:36.74. This was Mácsok’s fourth fastest time of her career and Hosszú dropped over three seconds from her swim in Nice. Laura Molnár took third in 2:45.17.
Török, who swam a best time in the morning in the 100 breaststroke, would see another similar swim in the evening. Török took home the victory in the 200, touched in 2:15.26, dropping over two seconds from his previous best of 2:17.67. The race for second was tight as Ákos Okos finished in 2:16.85, just ahead of Horváth in 2:16.96.
Youth was the theme in the women’s race as the top three swimmers are all aged 19 or younger. 15-year old Laura Veres, who swam her best time of 2:00.97 from four days ago, was the only swimmer out under a minute at the halfway mark. Veres held on to take the win in 2:01.20. 19-year old Késely, winner of both the 400 and 1500, came in second in 2:01.77, well off her best of 1:57.10. 17-year old Kinscö placed third in 2:03.88, two seconds off of her best time.
The halfway point of the men’s race saw four men separated by only 0.15 seconds: Richárd Márton, Kristóf, Zombori, and Németh all leading the field. The gap between the four men would only tighten on the third fifty as all four were separated by 0.12 at the final turn. Kristóf would use the only sub-27 split over the last fifty to win his fifth event of the meet in 1:49.86. Németh placed second in 1:50.40 followed by Márton in third in 1:51.36.
After swimming every event of the meet, including four 200s in this session, Hosszú finished up the meet by winning the final event of the meet. The World Record hold this event cruised to a four-second win in 2:15.93, over two seconds slower than she swam last week in Nice. Szabó-Feltóthy placed second in 2:19.93 and Mácsok third in 2:21.63.
Zombori, after placing fourth in the previous event, won the 200 IM in convincing fashion. Using strong butterfly and backstroke Zombori opened-up a 3-second plus lead at halfway point. He would finish first in 2:05.99 his fastest time since his best of 2:02.13 in August 2019. Okos finished second in 2:09.10, his second fastest time of his career. 17-year old Kornél Köhalmi grabbed his lone top-3 finish of the meet, placing third in 2:11.98.
As the meet concludes, the Hungarians are preparing to host the European Championships in May to fully secure an Olympic team for Tokyo.