European Championships: Hubert Kos Upholds Hungarian Tradition in 200 IM

Hubert Kos

European Championships: Hubert Kos Upholds Hungarian Tradition in 200 IM

Anyone familiar with the history of the sport knows about Hungary’s widespread excellence in the individual medley events. Tamas Darnyi. Katinka Hosszu. Andras Hargitay. Laszlo Cseh. All of these athletes have starred in the multi-event disciplines.

Hubert Kos lived up to the tradition.

Holding off a late rally by home-crowd favorite Alberto Razzetti, Kos captured the gold medal in the 200-meter individual medley at the European Championships on Wednesday night. Kos earned his place on the top step of the medals stand behind a swim of 1:57.72, which narrowly edged the 1:57.82 of Razzetti, the Euro champ in the 400 medley. Razzetti was charging at the finish and came up just shy of Kos, who closed in 28.93. Razzetti covered the last lap in 28.34. The bronze medal went to Portugal’s Gabriel Lopes in 1:58.34.

The effort for Kos was a bounce-back performance of sorts, as he just missed the medals earlier in the meet in the 400 individual medley. This time around, there was no denying the Hungarian, as he bolted to the front of the field and was never out of the top-two positions.

Kos was in front of the field after the opening butterfly leg (24.82) and at the midway point (54.20). He dropped back to second place after the breaststroke, with Lopes holding the lead, 1:28.62 to 1:28.79. At that point, Razzetti had moved from sixth after backstroke to fourth. While both Kos and Razzetti passed Lopes on the last length, the Italian ran out of room to make it a medley sweep.

“It’s not as good as my personal best, but here, only the win mattered,” Kos said. “This gold is a gift, as we don’t have (world champion) Leon Marchand here, who is the best today. I didn’t really see much from the race, but I was feeling all the way that I was holding on and had a chance. I wanted to enjoy the last five weeks of my prep. That was my sole goal and I had the same approach towards this final. To enter the pool, jump in, swim the event and see what happens, no pressure. It worked.”

Razzetti’s efforts at the European Championships were a step forward from what he managed at the World Championships in June. At Worlds, Razzetti missed out on the final in both medley events, and placed seventh in the 200 butterfly. While the opposition was not as deep at the European Champs as it was at the World Championships, proof of Razzetti’s improvement can be found in the clock. In all three of his events, Razzetti was significantly faster in Rome.


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