Poland’s Jakub Kraska Hits 48.57 100 Free PB To Out-Touch Milak’s 48.72

4 NATIONS MEET

The 4 Nations Meet in Budapest, Hungary among the host nation, Poland, Czech Republic, and Austria came to a close tonight, but not before several swimmers threw down big-time performances to kick off their 2020/21 racing season.

We reported how Kristof Milak clocked an impressive 51.14 100m fly for gold, while also cruising to 200m fly victory in a mark of 1:55.01 in earlier days of this meet. Tonight, the 20-year-old 2fly world record holder took on the 100m free and 50m fly events.

First, in the 50m fly, Milak established himself as the top seed of the morning in a time of 23.90, registering the only sub-24 second outing of the field. Come tonight’s final, the Hungarian crushed a winning effort of 23.48 to get the edge over Michal Chudy of Poland. Chudy touched in 23.67, while teammate Kacper Stokowski rounded out the top 3 in 23.79. Of note, Hungarian national record holder Szebasztian Szabo was DNS this meet.

Milak appeared again for the men’s 100m free final, where he landed lane 4 by way of his 49.54 AM swim. He and Nandor Nemeth were the only sub-50 second swimmers of the morning heats.

However, eyes were on the far lane once the final got underway, where 20-year-old Jakub Kraska put on a show for an outside smoke victory. Hailing from Poland, Kraska busted out the swim of his life to register a winning effort of 48.57, marking his very first time under the 49-second threshold. Splitting 23.43/25.14, Kraska’s time tonight obliterated his previous PB, that of 49.21 he registered just this past June.

As for Milak, he, too, scored a new lifetime best, touching just a hair later in 48.72. Splits for Milak included 23.56/25.16 to give him his first outing under 49. Entering this meet, Milak’s previous PB was represented by the 49.08 he posted at the 2017 World Junior Championships.

The two men rank just outside the top 15 performers in the world this season, but the fact they each dropped mega time at this meet is a positive indicator of where they’re headed this season.

The women’s 200m back saw host nation swimmer Katalin Burian punch the fastest time, getting to the wall first in 2:10.04. She is the 2018 European Championship bronze medalist in this went, holding a PB of 2:08.65 from that swim in Glasgow.

Behind Burian tonight was Austrian national record holder Lena Grabowski, with the teen earning a time of 2:10.71. Grabowski’s time is less than a second off of her own lifetime best and Austrian national standard of 2:10.06 from 2019. Tonight’s effort still represents the 4th fastest time of her career.

Hungary’s Akos Kalmar was a man possessed in the 1500m freestyle, clicking a huge lifetime best of 14:52.00 en route to victory. Kalmar had never before been under 15:00 in this race, owning a PB of 15:00.99 from his 12th place finish at the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

Kalmar owns the Hungarian age records for both 17 and 18 year-olds and his 14:52.00 effort this evening is within striking distance of Hungary’s national record of 14:45.66.

Felix Auboeck of Austria was in the race as well, touching in 15:07.22 for silver. Auboeck, who already won the 200m and 400m freestyle events here in Budapest, checked in with the 4th fastest time of his career in this grueling race.

Rounding out the top 3 in this 1500m was Czech Republic’s Jan Micka, who scored bronze in 15:08.48. Micka clocked a time of 14:59.05 in Gwangju last year to finish 10th at Worlds.

17-year-old Hubert Kos was already impressive here in the 400m IM, holding his own against mainstay David Verraszto. In that night 1 race, Kos put up a time of 4:15.77 for a new lifetime best, with the teen never before having been under the 4:20 threshold. His effort checked in as a new Hungarian Age Record in that long IM.

Two days later, Kos was in the water again with another monster performance. After establishing himself as the top-seeded 200m IM swimmer of the morning with an AM time of 2:02.78, the teen crushed a sub-2:00 outing of 1:59.06 to get the job done for gold. His time here obliterated his own previous lifetime best of 2:01.50, a mark he had just posted this past February.

Kos now becomes Hungary’s first-ever teenager to log a time under 2:00, overtaking the previous Hungarian Age Record for 17-year-olds of 2:01.13 held by Marton Barta.

Look for more details on Kos’ swim in a separate post.

Additional Winners:

  • Czech swimmer Lydie Stepankova got it done for gold in the women’s 50 breast, posting a winning effort of 31.40. That sneaked into the wall just .06 ahead of Pole Dominika Sztandera‘s time of 31.46.
  • Two women got under the 27-second threshold in the 50m fly, led by Poland’s Anna Dowgiert. Dowgiert hit a time of 26.46 to comfortably hold off Hungarian Monika Olle, who finished in 26.83 for runner-up status.
  • The men’s 100m breaststroke victor here, Valentin Bayer, doubled up on that victory with a 27.77 gold medal-worthy performance in the 50m breast tonight.
  • Hungary’s Adam Telegdy earned the men’s 200m backstroke gold in a time of 1:58.55.
  • Katinka Hosszu took on just 2 events at this meet, the 400m and 200m IM. She won the former event handily and also reaped the latter top prize with ease. Hosszu registered a winning 2IM effort of 2:13.98 to get her post-coronavirus-pandemic racing underway.

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SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
4 months ago

Wow, great to see some fast times, especially from some young, new faces. Kraska and Kos – big breakthroughs. And Milak showing some freestyle speed. And an impressive 1500 from Kalmar. Awesome.

John26
4 months ago

If Milak drops as much time in the 200free as he will in the 200fly from this meet, he would win the 200free in Tokyo hands down.

Dee
Reply to  John26
4 months ago

His freestyle has tended to be faster in seasons than his butterfly in the past, but the signs were there during the winter when he went 21.6 for the 50 SCM. Plenty of speed for a 200 flyer.

John26
Reply to  Dee
4 months ago

Then again, he’s never swam freestyle races at taper meets

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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