The 18-year-old Viktória Mihályvári-Farkas, who is also a Hungarian champion, crossed the finish line in 4:37.56, while her 33-year-old compatriot, Zsuzsanna Jakabos, was second in 4:39.79.Continue reading
One of the greatest swimmers of all time, Michael Phelps, watched Zalán Sárkány swim a record time in a team event at the University of Arizona (ASU) and then congratulated the 19-year-old Hungarian with a fist bump, reported Magyar Nemzet. Since January, Sárkány has been training with world-class athletes under Phelps’ former legendary coach Bob Bowman.
Two Hungarian swimmers joined the ASU university team in January, led by Bob Bowman, former coach of 23-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps. In his very first US race, Sárkány (the word for “dragon” in Hungarian), who is preparing for the longer distances in the freestyle, broke a school record that stood since 1984, beating the previous Arizona record by seven seconds in the 1000 yards. The next day, in a subsequent race, Sárkány shaved another three tenths off his own record, and two weeks later, in early February, he bettered it by almost a second. His record-breaking 8:49.31 swim was witnessed by US Olympic legend Michael Phelps.
Phelps had been away from the university for at least three years and had just come to support the team, Zalán Sárkány told Magyar Nemzet. However, the Budapest-based Kőbánya SC-bred swimmer did not stop there, beating the previous ASU record by more than a second at 1650 yards at a Las Vegas meet on 10 February. That number will be included in the spring finals of the NCAA Collegiate Championships, and with his time, Sárkány immediately moved into seventh place in the national rankings for the 2022-2023 season, first in ASU’s conference and already first in the Pac-12 division.
“Bob Bowman called me here to strengthen the team in the long haul, which has worked out well so far, but I am not even close to the times I could be,” Zalán noted. The coach puts a lot of emphasis on motivation, before every training session we are given a piece of paper with the tasks and on the back there is an inspirational quote from a famous person. It may seem small, but it can add to the work.
Sárkány, who is studying business at the university, has nine to ten swim practices a week, supplemented by fitness workouts. He feels that he has already improved a lot in terms of endurance in just two months in America, as well as honing his technique, especially with regard to the common ailment of Hungarian swimmers, the turns.
– The difference is in the way the training is structured, at home I’m used to taking a minute or two off between each exercise, which is not the case here,” he said. – Each set has to be completed as quickly as possible within the set time limit, and when the time limit is reached, there is no rest, the next exercise starts straight away.
Via Magyar Nemzet, Featured Photo: Facebook Zalán Sárkány