Defending champion Szebasztián Szabó won the silver medal in the 50m butterfly at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Otopeni, Romania on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Hungarian was the best in the semi-finals, the only one in the field to finish within 22 seconds (21.86). Szebasztián Szabó had the best start – with a reaction time of 58 hundredths of a second – and was the only one within 10 seconds in the first lap.
However, his second 25 meters did not go so well and he finished second (21.96 seconds).
Noè Ponti of Switzerland won the event, just four hundredths of a second off the world record of 21.75 set by his Hungarian rival and Brazilian Nicholas Santos.
Szebasztián Szabó and Noè Ponti in the background. Photo via MTI/Kovács Tamás
Szabó – who won three gold medals in Kazan, Russia two years ago – won his second medal of the Romanian continental event and the fifth for the Hungarian delegation. The swimmer was also second in the 50m freestyle on Thursday.
“My first twenty-six meters went very well, but my underwater work after the turn was weak, and I do not know why unfortunately. However, I am very happy that my speed over the water was very good in the 50m freestyle and now too, because in the Olympics I will just have to participate in the first event,” Szabó emphasized looking ahead to the Paris Games.
As for the world record, he said that luckily he is still the co-owner of it and he will continue to work to beat it, but to do so he has to be perfect at the right moment.
FactThe Hungarian team finished the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Otopeni, Romania with two silver and three bronze medals. Szebasztián Szabó won silver in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly, Ajna Késely took bronze in the 800m and 1500m freestyle, while Richárd Márton won bronze in the 200m butterfly.
Via MTI, Featured image via Facebook/Magyar Úszó Szövetség – Magyar úszóválogatott