Hungary’s best ever single-day performance: 7 medals, 4 golds
Hungarian swimmers put together the nation’s best ever single day performance by amassing seven medals in less than two hours, winning four of the seven finals and runners-up by a finger-tip in two others. The Brits also enjoyed a fine day with five medals, including Ross Murdoch’s upsetting of the title-holder and world champion Marco Koch in the 200m breast.
Boglarka Kapas kicked off the golden run of the Hungarians by winning the 800m free with a convincing performance, went first at the 350m turn and built a 2sec lead in the remaining legs. Britain’s title-holder Jazmin Carlin chased her in vain this time, while Slovenia’s Tjasa Oder earned a surprising bronze.
Katinka Hosszu smashed the Championship record in the 200m IM with a fine in-season time (2:07.30), way ahead of the field, with two Brits coming next, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Hannah Miley. Hosszu was back for more, arrived at the start of the 100m back from the IM event’s victory ceremony, and this time she couldn’t gear up enough to catch Mie Nielsen – in Berlin, on the same day, they shared the gold, this time the Dane was 0.21sec faster. Another Brit earned a medal, here, Kathleen Dawson, a well-deserved bronze.
For the Hungarians, the 200m fly final was a sure bet with Laszlo Cseh enjoying perhaps the best phase of his career. His only rival was the virtual red line on the screen, showing the pace of the European record – which he set in the shiny-suit era eight years ago. Indeed Cseh raced against a 22-year-old youngster, wearing a super suit, swimming in peak form at the Beijing Olympics – and he almost beat this ‘youngster’, only 0.21 sec separated him to equal his old mark. He swam 0.57sec faster than his world title winning time in Kazan last summer, this time with three kilos extra around his belly, to be burnt for Rio and getting ready for something big. Title-holder Viktor Bromer of Denmark came second, though the other Hungarian, the 19-year-old Tamas Kenderesi almost caught him for the silver, only 0.04sec separated the two.
And only 0.05sec were missing for Hungary’s Richard Bohus to upset the backstroke king, Camille Lacourt, in the 50m but that gold went to the French in one of the tightest dash finals in history when the gap between the winner and the last places one was only 0.26sec.
Hungary made it four in the session-ending women’s 4x200m free relay, they were third at the halfway mark, then Boglarka Kapas, returning one and a half hour after the 800m free, pushed the team to the first place in the third leg and there was no way back for the others as Katinka Hosszu roared through the homecoming leg, delivering the gold to the Hungarians once more after 2010.
The only final without a Magyar threat was the 200m breast final – Olympic champion Daniel Gyurta is focusing on Rio and skipped the meet… – where the hosts could cheer for a gold as Ross Murdoch upset the title-holder and world champion, German Marco Koch, in a brilliant duel. The strength of British breaststroke cannot be demonstrated better than the fact that the newly crowned European champion couldn’t make the Olympic team in the trials in this event…
The big duel between the Hungarians and the Brits ended up with the ‘visitors’ triumph this evening: Hungary clinched 7 medals (4-3-1), the Brits had 5 (1-2-2), they stand 13-13 in overall, though regarding the titles the Magyars lead 6-3, something of a well-known result connected to these nations in football, but while the world famous game was over long ago (in 1953), here we have three more days for the medal hunters.
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Press release from LEN, photos courtesy of Deepbluemedia