Laszlo Cseh took a brace of victories on the second day at Hungarian nationals in Debrecen on a day when teenager Ajna Kesely kept two of Hungary’s Rio 2016 Olympic podium placers at bay with a best of 4:06 in the 400m freestyle.
Cseh, the most decorated Hungarian swimmer of the past four Olympic Games, clocked 1:59.43 in the 200m medley to retain his status as the country’s best all-rounder over four laps. On 2:00.01, Adam Telegdy claimed silver a stroke ahead of teenager Daniel Sos, on 2:00.64.
For Cseh and all others among the best in Hungary, the meet in Debrecen is a race-test moment in training, their best efforts after March 1 last year, including the European Championships in London and the Olympic Games in Rio, count as qualifiers for the home World Championships in Budapest this July.
No need, then, for triumphs and target times, simply confirmation that speed and skills are building for the sumemr ahead. Cseh followed his 200IM win with a 23.94 in the 50m butterfly to become the only double winner of solo events on the day. The dash podium was completed by Kristian Takacs and Bence Pulai, on 24.13 and 24.21 respectively.
Given the circumstances of racing through in training, Ajna Kesely‘s win in the 400m freestyle on 4:06.64 ahead of Katinka Hosszu and European eight-lap champion Boglarka Kapas was no great shakes. The winner’s time, however, was something to shout about. Kesely leaves 15 for 16 years this season and last year boasted a best of 4:08.10, the 16 efforts still ahead of her on the Hungarian all-time list all belonging to national record holder Kapas, who has the best three ever in her country, and Hosszu. Today, Hosszu clocked 4:07.52, Kapas 4:07.65.
Hosszu also claimed the 200m medley in which she is Olympic champion and world record holder. Her 2:09.38 effort crushed the rest, the podium completed by two who had once known days of being able to be with Hosszu on a 200IM, and indeed beat her on occasion, before a transformation took place from 2013 onwards: 2:12.36 Zsuzsanna Jakabos; 2:12.62 Evelyn Verraszto.
The men’s 400m freestyle title returned to Peter Bernek in 3:49.60, the minor spoils to Richard Marton in 3:50.22, and medley ace building stamina, David Verraszto, on 3:50.59.
Flora Molnar took the 50m butterfly in 26.71 ahead of Sasha Touretski, of Switzerland and the daughter of Gennadi Touretski, mentor to Alex Popov back in the 1990s, on 26.80, the bronze to Sara Joo in 27.12.