Nándor Németh turns 18 this year. He’s made little impact in international waters so far but this July at home in Budapest he will represent the home nation in the 100m freestyle after crushing the national record for the Hungarian title on 48.64 in Debrecen today. He’d never been inside 50sec before the eve of Christmas past.
The favourite, Péter Holoda, 21 this year, was out in 23.18 and looked set to oblige those nodding to pre-race form guides. Nemeth, coached by Zsolt Plagányi, had other plans.
Németh turned in 23.44, clawed back the deficit by tiny fractions down the homecoming lap, drew level and then got past Holoda for a 48.64 to 48.87 victory that swept the teenager past the 48.76 national record that had stood to Dominik Kozma – on 49.56 for bronze today – since the Berlin 2014 European Championships.
Never under 50sec before until he swam 49.72 at a small local meet in Eger on the eve of Christmas last year, Nandor clocked 22.75 in the dash in Debrecen this week in a hint of his building strength. Remarkable progress. His best times coming into this season were 23.25 in the dash and before that 49.7 a 50.83 in the 100m. In heats in Debrecen this morning, he clocked 50.27.
His skywards progress left him at 10th equal on the world rankings at a match with Chad Le Clos (RSA) in a club of folk who have taken a much steadier route to a 48-mid:
Men 100M Freestyle
GBR , 19
AUS , 23
USA , 28
AUS , 18
JPN , 23
RUS , 24
AUS , 18
RUS , 25
FRA , 24
HUN , 18
RSA , 25
The two-lap pace is sharpening among members of the next wave of sprinters building – Duncan Scott’s 47.90 in Britain a case in point – in response to the 47.58 pace set by 18-year-old Kyle Chalmers, of Australia, for the Olympic crown last year. It is as if the teens are saying, ‘ok, well, if he can, we can’. In the B final, in which foreigners are allowed to race, Vietnam’s Quy Phuoc Hoang clocked 49.03.
In other action, Katinka Hosszu claimed three wins. On 54.62 ahead of a 54.77 from Evelyn Verraszto in the 100m free, Flora Molnar on 55.52 for third, Hosszu swam a 4:35.91 in the 400m medley, the battle for the minor spoils settled in 4:39.35 to 4:39.39 in favour of Boglarka Kapas over Zsuzsanna Jakabos, and then in another of her Olympic gold events from 2016, the 100m backstroke, clocked a 1:00.46 keeping at bay Katalin Burián‘s 1:01.65 and Réka György‘s 1:01.67.
Gyurta Brothers Take A Title Apiece
Evelyn’s brother David Verraszto – the offspring of 1975 world 200m backstroke champion Zoltan of the same name – bypassed the 400m medley, Hungarians able to rely on any performance since March 1 last year for selection to a home world titles this summer. In his absence, another racer from a family known for its fast fish, Gergely Gyurta, took the title in 4:12.81, Peter Bernek on 4:13.62, the bronze to Balasz Hollo in 4:18.48.
The men’s 100m backstroke crown took a 54.40 from Richard Bohus, the podium completed by a 54.90 from Gabor Balog and a 55.08 from Adam Telegdy.
The third set of 100m finals today were held on breaststroke. Daniel Gyurta took the men’s title in 1:00.35 ahead of Gábor Financsek, on 1:01.44 and Russian Danila Doneko, on 1:01.56.
In the women’s final, Réka Vécsei took the crown by a slither in 1:09.90 to 1:0.97 over Ivett Szurovcsák, the bronze to Anna Sztankovics in 1:10.53.