Hungarian swimmers make history at 16th FINA games in Kazan

August 11, 2015


Hungary won more medals at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia, last week than ever before, placing eighth overall.  Hungarians won three gold, three silver and four bronze medals, and Katinka Hosszú won her fifth world championship to become the most successful Hungarian swimmer of all time.

Only five countries won more medals in swimming events than Hungary:  the United States, Australia, China, Great Britain and France. Anna Olasz placed second in the women’s 25-kilometer open water swim.

Katinka Hosszú and Lászlô Cseh write history

Hosszú set a world record in the 200-meter women’s individual medley, shaving three-hundredths of a second off the old time.  She broke a European record in one of the preliminary heats and dominated the final race, finishing a full two seconds before Kanako Watanabe of Japan.  After her victory Hosszú said that breaking the world record meant more to her than winning the gold medal.

On the last day of the world championships she also won the 400-meter medley event, winning her second world championship title.  She practically led from start to finish and was only racing against time.

“I can hardly speak,” Hosszú told Hungarian channel M4.  “I gave it my all.  My legs were cramping the last 50 meters.  I cannot rejoice over the gold medal because I do not feel well.  It really hurt.  It was all right at the beginning but I could feel that this was the last day.  Over the course of the past eight days I became not only physically but mentally tired.  I’m very happy that I succeeded in winning two events.  I was angry at myself yesterday because I felt I hadn’t given everything, but today I succeeded several times.  I cannot believe that I am the most successful of the Hungarian swimmers at the World Championships.”

In addition to winning two golds, Hosszú won a bronze in the 200-meter backstroke.  She received her second gold medal from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who travelled to Kazan to personally accept the FINA flag; the next FINA World Championships are scheduled for Budapest in 2017. FINA, the Fédération Internationale de Natation, is the international governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming and open water swimming.

Hosszú became the most successful Hungarian swimmer in the history of the world championship games, overtaking the previous record of four gold medals.

László Cseh also made history.  Competing in his seventh world championship, the Hungarian swimmer completed his “butterfly collection” of gold, silver and bronze in the 200-, 50- and 100-meter butterfly events. He is the only competitor in FINA history to take three different medals in the same event.

Dâvid Verrasztó took silver in the men’s 400-meter medley.  Boglârka Kapás and Dániel Gyurta won bronze medals in the women’s 1500-meter medley and the men’s 200-meter breaststroke, respectively.

Hungary finishes 6th, 9th in water polo

The Hungarian men’s water polo team placed sixth overall, defeating Italy and the United States but losing to Montenegro.  Serbia won the gold.

After losing in the quarterfinals to the United States (which went on to win gold), the Hungarian women’s water polo team defeated Brazil to finish ninth overall.   Bitterly disappointed with the team’s performance, coach András Merész offered to resign after the match against Brazil.

The president of the Hungarian Swimming Association (MÚSZ), Tamás Gyárfás, announced on Sunday that Olympic and world swimming champion Dániel Gyurta’s trainer, Sándor Széles, had been hospitalized and was in serious condition.  He was transported to Hungary on Sunday.  Details about his condition have not been released.