After some hesitation, four-time silver and two-time bronze medalist Olympian swimmer László Cseh decided to compete in his fifth and final Olympics in Tokyo, after which he will certainly retire from competitive swimming.
László Cseh, 35, was probably one of the Hungarian athletes hardest hit by the news of postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games. Although he made it clear back then that he would postpone retirement as a result, this latest decision reportedly still came after long hesitation. The announcement came after several talks with trainers and officials, but he made it official, alongside his wife’s support.
László Cseh is arguably one of the best swimmers who has never won an Olympic gold. Unfortunately for him, the peak of his career coincided with that of the sport’s greatest performer, American Michael Phelps. In Beijing 2008, for example, Cseh swam to three European records in three finals, and placed second in all three behind Phelps, who broke the world record in all three events. The American dominated again in the next two games. In Rio 2016, although Cseh tied with him in the 100m butterfly, Singaporean Joseph Schooling was faster than both of them, again depriving Cseh from the top medal.
He also won two bronze medals, the first one back in 2004, after having broken his ankle in the training camp on a stairway a couple of weeks before the kick-off to the Games. One of his bronzes he earned in London 2012, where he was beaten by the aforementioned Phelps and another superstar, Ryan Lochte.
In the meantime, Cseh has also emerged a two-time World and 33-time European Champion.
László Cseh will compete in the mixed 200m in Tokyo for the last time in his career.
“I hold myself to the notion that if I can still be an Olympian, I have to do my best to perform well. I am no longer overwhelmed by the weight of responsibility, nor will there be any tension inside me. I will be loose and not tense, but no one will be able to say that Laci Cseh is about to fall asleep in the water. No matter how far I make it in the mixed 200m, I will know that what I have achieved, no one can ever take away from me, what has been achieved so far, will always endure,” he commented after the announcement.
featured image via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI