By Norbert Agh and Phil Whitten
BUDAPEST, June 30. EVA Risztov set two Hungarian national records, including the world's fastest performance this year in the 400 meter freestyle, to highlight competition at the Zagreb International Long Course meet, June 14-16. The Zagreb meet also saw ageless Karoly Guttler set a Hungarian national record.
One week earlier, at the Hungarian Junior Championships in Szekesfehervar, Daniel Gyurta, now 13, proved that aging up is no barrier to his record-setting, as he destroyed five Hungarian national age group (NAG) records for boys 13-14, and also won two events.
Zagreb International Highlights
Seventeen year-old Eva Risztov, who was the outstanding swimmer at the European Junior Championships two years ago, proved she has graduated to the Big Leagues, winning two events in Zagreb, both in national record time.
Risztov clocked 4:09.32 for the 400 meter freestyle, breaking her own national mark of 4:12.12 from 2000. The time vaults her to the top of the world rankings for 2002, replacing China's Chen Hua as the world's fastest 400 meter freestyler thus far this year.
Risztov followed with a second national mark, touching in 2:08.65 for the 200m fly — second globally this year. Her old national standard was 2:11.20 set last year.
At the other end of the age spectrum, 34 year-old Karoly Guttler showed there's still some life left in his ancient bones, as he stroked to twin victories. Guttler, a silver medalist in the 100m breast at the 1988 Olympics (1:02.06) who set the WR five years later (1:00.95), took that event in a solid 1:02.30, then set a Hungarian national record while winning the 50 in 28.11.
World and Olympic 200m breaststroke champion, Agnes Kovacs, also took home two gold medals, winning convincingly in the 100 (1:09.72) and 200m breaststroke (2:27.30).
Hungarian Junior Championship Highlights
At the Hungarian Juniors, Dani Gyurta, who turned 13 one month earlier, took the 100 and 200m breaststroke events. In the 100 he clocked a pr 1:04.65, which not only shattered the Hungarian NAG mark for boys 13-14, but also bettered the 15-16 record. In the 200, he clocked 2:18.54, just off his pr of 2:17.97 swum while he was still 12. Negatively splitting the race, he went out in 1:09.33 and came back in 1:09.21.
Gyurta also set NAG marks for boys 13-14 in the 800m free (8:38.90), 1500m free (16:30.08), 200m fly (2:11.29) and 400m IM (4:37.08). He was just off his pr in the 50 breast, clocking 31.08.
But the 13 year-old Gyurta wasn't the only newly-minted teen to set Hungarian age group marks. Kata Urban, 13, also set a 13-14 mark with her excellent 2:14.70 for the 200m fly.
Diana Remenyi, 16, proved she is almost ready to step out onto the international stage, as she won the 200m breaststroke in 2:30.32. Fourteen year-old Vanessa Balogh was second in 2:38.64.
Agnes Prohaszka, 14, swam well in the IMs, clocking 2:24.10 and 5:00.98, good enough for second place in both events.
For the boys, 17 year-old Laszlo Cseh won both medleys, taking the 200 in 2:04.25 and the 400 in a 17-18 NAG mark of 4:20.41.
Akos Molnar, 15, set a 15-16 NAG mark of 8:29.33 for the 800m free, while another 15 year-old, Balazs Makany, did the same in the 100 free (52.75) while also clocking 2:05.51 for the 200 back.
Also swimming well were David and Evelyn Verraszto, the children of Olympian Zoltan Verraszto. David, 14, clocked 4:52.02 for the 400 IM, while Evelyn, 13, finaled in eight events topped by her third place finish in the 200 back (2;22.44).