Hungarian champions, both upcoming and well-known, finished the LEN European Aquatics Championships in Budapest with excellent results. Five gold, four silver, and six bronze medals were won by Hungary, placing it in sixth place on the continent.
The European Aquatics Championships, held at the Duna Arena in Budapest between May 10 and 23, finished with Russia, Great Britain, and Italy in the top three spots, with the only other countries that finished ahead of Hungary being Ukraine and the Netherlands.
This was a good week for Hungary, not only because it was the first time a Hungarian synchronized swimming medal was won, but because Hungarian swimmers broke records and showed that they were not to be underestimated.
The victorious Katinka Hosszú after the announcement of results for the women’s 400-meter IM on May 17, 2021. (Photo: Tamás Kovács/MTI)
Because of the pandemic, many may not have thought that Katinka Hosszú would win first in the 400-meter individual medley, since multiple lead-up races were cancelled. Instead, she ended up swimming a 4:34.76, the best time in the world this year. Not only that, but she was followed by Viktória Mihályvári-Farkas, who won silver.
This year Hungary’s strengths were made noticeably clear in butterfly stroke. Having already beaten Michael Phelps’ long-held world record in 200-meter butterfly in 2019, it is not surprising that the 21-year-old Kristóf Milák continues to see gold in the category.
Kristóf Milák (center) at the start of the men’s 100-meter freestyle on May 18, 2021 (Photo: Tamás Kovács/MTI)
Not only did he set a new championship record in this year in 200 meters (1:51.10), but he also finished first in the men’s 100-meter butterfly in 50.64 seconds.
Boglárka Kapás managed to secure a victory in the 200-meter butterfly with a time of 2:07.61, followed by Katinka Hosszú at 2:08.36, and Szebasztián Szabó won his first gold for Hungary in the men’s 50-meter butterfly with a time of 23.03.
Boglárka Kapás after winning the women’s 200-meter butterfly on May 20, 2021 (Photo: Tamás Kovács/MTI)
Also headlining was Hungary’s silver in women’s 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay, won by Zsuzsanna Jakabos, Fanni Fábián, Laura Veres, and Boglárka Kapás. Nemzeti Sport says this victory brought a tear even to the eye of the head coach of the national swimming team, Csaba Sós.
The European Aquatics Championships have been an excellent medium not only for Hungarian athletes to show their talent and training, but to make fans excited for even more success in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which are set to be held between July and August.
In the featured photo: Kristóf Milák after winning his second gold medal. Photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI