It was not the Americans, nor the Australians. Not the Brazilians, and not the French. In the men’s 4×100 free relay finals at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Indianapolis, it was Hungary who claimed gold.
Butterfly hero Kristof Milak led off in 49.08, the fastest lead-off in the field.
“I wanted to clock a 48 seconds time, I barely missed it which is a bit disappointing but after all it’s a gold and this is what counts,” said Milak. “It’s the end of the season, everyone is tired. We would have rather gone for vacation weeks ago but we have a job here. Perhaps we can say now that part of the job has been accomplished.”
Meanwhile, Nandor Nemeth had a huge anchor leg, going 48.24 to propel Hungary to gold at 3:17.99 and out-split every other leg in the field.
“Basically we went for the podium but I wanted gold and I knew we had a chance, even if Hungary had never been considered a medal-contender in this event,” said Nemeth. “We guessed the Polish team would be our biggest rivals, they narrowly beat us at the junior Europeans but this time we managed to hit back. It’s a pretty good feeling to be part of history for the second time: first that amazing bronze at the FINA World Championships in this event at home in July, and now the first ever junior world title for our country.”
Milak and Nemeth both won medals at the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, where the Hungarians had a great meet. Nemeth, in his quote, is referring to his role on the 4×100 free relay in Budapest, when they surprised the world with a bronze medal.
The Hungarians have impressed thus far in Indy, and the speed we’ve seen from their youth at the meet and this summer, in general, will be exciting to track as they transition into the forefront of their country’s senior team.