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Members of the gold medal winning Hungarian team: Dávid Betlehem, Bettina Fábián, Mira Szimcsák, and Kristóf Rasovszky (L-R)

The Hungarian team consisting of Mira Szimcsák, Bettina Fábián, Dávid Betlehem,  and Kristóf Rasovszky won the gold medal in the open water swimming relay at the European Aquatics Championships in Belgrade on Saturday.

The relay team triumphed in this event for the first time in a major world competition. The national team ended the competition with four podium finishes: earlier, Dávid Betlehem won gold in the 5 km and bronze in the 10 km, while Bettina Fábián finished third in the 5 km.

Mira Szimcsák in the relay race. Photo: MTI/Derencsényi István

The Hungarians were favorites to win the relay, as Betlehem won gold in the 5 km and bronze in the 10 km at the European Championships, Fábián was third in the shorter distance, and Rasovszky is the current world champion in the Olympic distance.

As usual, Gábor Gellért, the national captain, opted for a two female-two male combination. Unlike in the previous world championships, he did not have to worry this time, as Betlehem, who swam in third place, “destroyed” the field. With a lead of almost 20 seconds, Rasovszky took over, who was simply tasked with “not making a mistake” and claiming victory. The Olympic silver medalist, of course, did it with confidence, securing a sporting history-making victory.

Winner Kristóf Rasovszky crossing the finish line of the open water swimming relay event. Photo: MTI/Derencsényi István

“I think I passed the relay in second place and it was absolutely fine, although I was quite sore after swimming 15 kilometers the previous days,” Mira Szimcsák told M4 Sport+.

This gold medal is very precious. We have been on the podium at the European Championships and World Championships for years, but we have not reached the top yet, and finally this day has come,”

said Fábián.

The gold medal-winning Hungarian relay team (C), the second-placed Italian team, Andrea Filadelli, Marcello Guidi, Giulia Gabbrielleschi, and Ginevra Taddeucci (L), and the bronze medal-winning French team of Sacha Velly, Marc-Antoine Olivier, Caroline Jouisse, and Oceane Cassignol (R). Photo: MTI/Derencsényi István

“I caught up with the others relatively easily and was able to gain an advantage. This relay already owed so much to Kristóf and he owed so much to us to bring it in for gold. It is good that we were able to win this way and I hope we can continue to do so for years to come,” said Betlehem.

“I am happy that this team finally won. Actually, I deserve the least credit, because the others decided it, I just had to swim it in, I could only have messed it up,” said Rasovszky.

1. Hungary 1:06:07.7
2. Italy 1:06:28.6
3. France 1:06:51.7

Dávid Betlehem Wins European Championship Title with a Sensational Swim
Dávid Betlehem Wins European Championship Title with a Sensational Swim

In addition, on Wednesday, the 20-year-old won the bronze medal in the 10 km open water swimming race.Continue reading

Via MTI, Featured image: MTI/Derencsényi István

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