Laszlo Cseh Soaks Up Tributes At Duna Arena Following “Legendary Career”

FINA World Championships Laszlo Cseh
Laszlo Cseh: Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Tributes were paid to Laszlo Cseh – a true legend of the pool – at the end of day two of the FINA World Cup at the Duna Arena, Budapest, following the Hungarian’s retirement after a career in which he competed at five Olympics and won 71 international medals.

Cseh retired after Tokyo 2020, where he finished seventh in the 200IM in his 10th Olympic final, 17 years after he made his Games debut at Athens 2004.

The 35-year-old always showed class, style and grace in and out of the pool, spending half his life at the top table of the sport.

Olympics: 4 silver, 2 gold

World Championships: 2 gold, 6 silver, 5 bronze

European Championships: 14 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze

World Short-Course Championships: 2 silver, 2 bronze

European Short-Course Championships: 19 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze

He hadn’t had an opportunity to say goodbye to his Hungarian fans and those of swimming worldwide who hold Cseh in such high esteem.

Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 26-07-2017 Budapest sport 17mi Campionati Mondiali FINA di nuoto nella foto: Chad Le Cos RSA, oro 200 farfalla, Laszlo Cseh HUN Argento Gian Mattia D'Alberto / lapresse 2017-07-26 Budapest 17th FINA World Championships in the photo: Chad Le Clos RSA, gold 200 fly, Laszlo Cseh HUN, silver

Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D’Alberto /LaPresse

That changed on Friday as he walked on to the pool deck, accompanied by the Star Wars theme.

There was a presentation and video tributes including one from 2012 Olympic 200 fly champion Chad le Clos, who spoke of Cseh’s “legendary career”, describing him as an “inspiration” and praising his “humility”.

The pair were part of an astonishing three-way tie with Michael Phelps for second over 100 fly at Rio 2016.

Le Clos added:

“On behalf of my family, myself and all the swimmers I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for swimming.

“We love you lots and have a great retirement, my friend. God bless.”

The camera then panned to a figure in the crowd, his identity obscured by a face covering and sunglasses with his hood up.

The mystery man came down to the pool deck and revealed himself to be Peter Bernek, the four-time European medallist and 2014 world short-course 400 free champion.

Bernek and Cseh roomed together at major international meets for 15 years and the pair, having briefly left the deck, returned wearing swim briefs for a unique 100IM.

FINA World Championships Laszlo Cseh

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Cseh touched the wall first following 25m of butterfly after which Bernek left the pool with Hungarian Swimming president Sandor Wladar – the 1980 Olympic 200 back champion – taking his place for 25m of backstroke.

Come the breaststroke and he was joined by Miklos Kiss, the man who taught Cseh – and many others including five-time Olympic champion Krisztina Egerszegi – the fine art of swimming.

The entire Hungary national team, including a beaming Kristof Milak and Katinka Hosszu, jumped in the pool to join Cseh.



1 comment

  1. avatar

    Great athlete, but do you really mean to say in his Olympic haul there were 2 GOLDS? (from website: “Hungary great László Cseh retires; closes Olympic career without gold”

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