W400 Free: Boglarka Kapas, Historic Distance Triple – 1st 400, 800, 1500 Euro Champion

Boglarka Kapas - by Patrick B. Kraemer

Boglarka Kapas outshone Lazslo Cseh and Katinka Hosszu as the star of the Hungarian team at the close of the European Championships with a 4:03.47 victory that added the 400m freestyle title to the 800 and 1500m she placed in her treasury earlier this week. Silver to Jazz Carlin, bronze to Mireia Belmonte

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Boglarka Kapas outshone Lazslo Cseh and Katinka Hosszu as the star of the Hungarian team at the close of the European Championships with a 4:03.47 victory that added the 400m freestyle title to the 800 and 1500m she placed in her treasury earlier this week. Silver to Jazz Carlin, bronze to Mireia Belmonte



it is indeed a great swimming by Bolgarka Kapas. Beating Hosszu’s national record. And It was done with negative splits. Was it done by accident or this is the strategy women have to use at 400 and 800 distances. World records at these disciplines were also set with negative splits.
P.s. I always get confused with Kapas’ first name. It means ‘Bulgarian woman’ in Russian. πŸ™‚


That’s because it’s not Bolgarka but Boglarka πŸ™‚


Judging by how the whole hungarian team is swimming this week, I must assume she’s at least partially tapered at this euro championships.

re:negative splits for w400 free, it depends what kind of swimmers they are. In the past three decades, w400 has been dominated much more often by distance swimmers (400/800/1,500) than by middle distance swimmers (200/400), which my help to explain why there are many negative splits.

Manaudou who was more of 200/400 swimmer than 400/800 swimmer never negative split her 400. She always went out so fast: 1:58s and 1:59s for her 4:03s and 4:02s WRs

Pellegrini is interesting, because in 2008 Euro she split 1:59.60 for the WR 4:01.53 and she split 1:59 for her 2009 WR which is not negative split, but she in 2011 shanghai she negative split 2:02.30 for 4:01.97

For the men, Ian very rarely negative split her 400 free races. In his best form, he usually went out in 1:48+ or 1:49+ and came back in 1:51
Biedermann in Rome of course negative split, mostly thanks to Arena X-Glide


Thank you very much ITR for correction. Now everything is at its place. It bothered me for so many years. How the Hungarian woman can be Bolgarka. And the answer is so simple. I need better glasses. πŸ™‚

Barnabas Mandi

She is confident and optimistic now, so got the right feeling. She swam all the three race in the same way. Nobody could catch her. I think the most difficult thing will be for her to forget that KL is also in the pool. Just do her own job and it will be marvelous. So put a young men into lane 4 who can swim the same speed as KL and follow him. She can reach 2 medals in Rio ( from races where only two accessible medals only).


‘Roman’ is a common male name in the Czech Republic so it wouldn’t be the first time a nationality was used as a first name in a different country.

clive rushton

Here’s a thought about negative splits.

To be physiologically efficient you should swim at the maximum speed you can hold for the rest of the distance still to be covered. Yes, I know, it does probably need reading more than once, but bear with me.

Doesn’t make sense to go out faster than that because you then have no option but to slow down. Oxygen debt and other physiological irritants mean the slowing down-ness has to be greater than the original speed so the average will be less than if you did it differently.

The average speed throughout the race is the only thing that matters (unless you’re deliberately using a strategy to unseat a faster opponent – in other words be more effective – but that’s a different kettle of fish; here I’m discussing the most efficient way).

As the race distance progresses the distance remaining reduces so the muscles’ ability to sustain a higher intensity is in play. Speed can be increased. Result? Negative split.

Simple really.

Craig Lord

Thanks for that Clive, sounds fair enough to me.


Clive, I like when people are making such postings and are trying to bring some quantitative reasoning. I also know that this isn’t the place for scientific discussion, but to understand your logic three things in your posting have to be defined more clearly.
1. What is ‘physiologically efficient’
2. How do you define the average speed? As we learned at fifth grade the average speed is the distance divided by the time taken to swim this distance. What you said looks like the sum of speeds taken at several points of the race divided by the number of points. Such definition of average speed is incorrect. Therefore it is not clear why this is ‘the only thing that matters’. Total time that is the sum of times spent at different parts of the distance swum with different speeds that is the only thing that matters but not the average speed in your definition.
3. Why the option to only slow down after fast start is the bad thing. I think that situation is not that simple as you concluded. It is the multi factor optimization task of nonlinear processes. We don’t see negative splits at short distances. Splits of best times at 200 free (Schmitt and Sjostrom) are not negative ones. The negative splits strategy is beginning to be efficient at longer distances and in my opinion it has to do first of all with the fact that tiredness is an exponential process and secondly that some time is needed for the body to respond to the long term stress. Sort of second-wind experience. The type of tiredness curve and inertia of response to the stress are very individual therefore we don’t see negative splits too often.
There can be some other very simple explanation that i observed at high school meets. That is the fear of the pain at the end of the race. I don’t have any prove that it is relevant at elite swimming.



I am still waiting for you to retract your words about me. Apology is not necessary.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, of course this is “a place for scientific discussion” – you’re doing it, as have others on many occasions.


Ofcourse there is no negative splitting a sprint. All hypothetical here, but lets say for instance that the fastest 50 free from a push for a man is 24.0 seconds. Lets also set that as a limit, so that no matter how fast or slow you could swim on the first 50, 24.0 is the quickest you could return under ideal circumstances. If that were the case, then in terms of negative splitting, a swimmer could travel the first 50m in 24.01 and return in 24.00 and swim a time almost a full second slower than the textile best. So this is inefficient and therefore, not used as a strategy.

However, as distance increases, pacing decreases due to how our bodies deal with oxygen. Swimmers will stay within their aerobic capacity to avoid o2 deprivation and then, on the last 100 meters, (or 200, or whatever their body is conditioned to achieving in an anaerobic state) their pace can increase and allow them to negative split their race…


@Clive Rushfon: it can be very possible that I misread and misunderstood the logic of your explanation. Then please excuse me. There is some example that clarifies my point. If a swimmer makes the first half of the distance with the speed V1 and the second half with the speed V2 then the average speed won’t be (V1+V2)/2, but it will be 2V1*V2/(V1+V2)
P.S. I am following Mr.Lord’s advice of brining some math in our discussion πŸ™‚


@asf. Nobody cares of what I am writing anonymously at this site. Why can’t you be as normal as any other people. You’ve been pathologically focusing on me. There are plenty of other contributors to this site who’s writings you can fully enjoy. I just suggested you in my poor English to be as careful as Mr. Lord is. He is a very experienced person and is accurate most of the times with his statements. Especially in the cases that are not 100% transparent. Follow his wisdom. I have nothing else to add.



I have been focusing on you?
That old trick of blaming the victim does not apply here, as we are all adults (as I assume you are) and everyone can read the conversations themselves to judge.

I didn’t ask for your comment in that Yulia’s doping article, and yet you immediately jumped on me, telling me to “read article carefully and please don’t start rumors”. You went on the offensive and was getting personal.

Even when I already provided some evidence, here’s your response, “What a conundrum, Asf. Try to read between lines.”
And even by your own admission that you know little about Yuliya’s case, instead of asking me for more info, you told me not to spread rumours.

Whenever I make mistake, at least I would acknowledge my own mistake and if I wronged someone, I’d apologize and try to retract whatever mistake I said about that person. That’s what a decent person does. So now we know you are not a decent person at all.

“Especially in the cases that are not 100% transparent.”

What do you mean by not transparent?
All I said was Efyomova tested negative in January and tested positive in February.
And those are facts and I have shown you the FINA documents. And yet you called me spreading rumours and have not even retracted what you said about me, let alone apologizing.

And please do not blame poor english as an excuse for your crass and baseless accusation, your written english is perfect as it is.

Oh, and by the way, Craig Lord is a journalist and contributor to highly respected British media, so of course he has very high journalistic standards to uphold. I am just a commenter in Craig’s website. If Craig deemed my comments jeopardized his website or his reputation, he would have removed them, as he has done in previous occasions to quite a few commenters’ opinions. The fact that CL let my comments remain means that they were not just rumours.

So stop telling people to write as well as Craig, meanwhile you are being hypocrite yourself as in many occasions in this website you accused many people without bases. In your previous comments, you even written crass and baseless words about Jon Rudd, the coach of Ruta Meilutyte.

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