Milak Unleashes 51.07 100 Fly Amid Double Gold; Kesely Completes 200-1500Fr Clean Sweep

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Kristóf Milák - Photo Courtesy: Hungarian Swimming Federation

Kristof Milak drew on his determination and experience to overcome the effects of the coronavirus with a golden 40 minutes during which he went 51.07 in the 100 fly and won the 200 free in a PB at the Hungarian Championships.

Ajna Kesely also won double gold in the 200 and 1500 free to finish her competition with a clean sweep of the freestyle events from 200 up.

It brought to an end the competition in Kaposvar which had evening prelims and morning finals, mirroring the schedule at the Olympics in Tokyo in July 2021.

Link to results

Milak had been concerned by his level of fatigue following silver in the 50 fly and questioned whether it was the ongoing effects of contracting the coronavirus which forced him to miss the entire ISL season or something else altogether.

The 20-year-old qualified second from Friday’s evening heats behind Szebasztian Szabo who headed the field in 51.85.

Szabo held a 0.31secs lead at halfway on Saturday morning but Milak came home in 27.09 to touch in 51.07 for gold with Szabo second in 51.95 and 17-year-old Hubert Kos rounding out the podium in 52.70.

Splits: 

Milak: 23.98/27.09

Szabo: 23.67/28.28

Kristof Milak of Hungary celebrates after winning in the men's 200m Butterfly Final during the Swimming events at the Gwangju 2019 FINA World Championships, Gwangju, South Korea, 24 July 2019.

Kristof Milak: Photo Courtesy: Patrick B. Kraemer

Milak’s PB stands as his world junior record of 50.62 from the 2017 World Championships in Budapest aged 17.

Saturday’s performance would have been quick enough to dislodge Chad Le Clos from the bronze-medal position at last year’s World Championships in Gwangju, the South African having clocked 51.16, one place ahead of Milak.

That came after a final-length blast secured victory in the 200 free following a stroke-for-stroke duel with Nandor Nemeth as the placings in the 100 free were reversed.

The pair turned at 150 locked at 1:19.88 but Milak unleashed a power surge of 26.80 to Nemeth’s 27.52 to win in 1:46.68.

Nemeth stopped the clock at 1:47.40 with Gabor Zombori moving from fourth to third in 1:48.60.

Milak’s coach Attila Selmeci said after the four-length race: “He feels the rhythm so much, he swims so cleverly that it’s incredible,” before watching on as he completed his competition in the fly.

Milak finished with two gold and three silver medals, reward for drawing on determination, resilience and experience.

He told musz.hu:

“I had a hard time getting up, just getting out on time, trying to get the warm-up through normally.”

Quoting a Hungarian proverb, he continued:

“I was down and out as one who is taken to be hanged.

“Then I realised again that I really felt this way: to bring out the best in myself in such a frayed, dilapidated state.

“After all, I’ve been doing this since 2017, I swim in several meets with little breaks, and it still worked today.

“Apparently I also had to have a gold after the three silvers, although I’m not saying I was unhappy with my previous performance.

“I’m happy to take the 200m title, then in the 100m fly I was kind of approaching the last 25m like everyone was dropping his trunks.

“I just had to give everything, this was the last 25m of the whole meetand now I had to focus solely on myself and I swam, just swam.

“The time is fine, though I prefer to see it beginning with 50.”

Kesely Completes Clean Sweep

Kesely led from start to finish to win the 1500fr in 16:34.43 ahead of Viktori Mihalyvari-Farkas before returning to the pool for the 200.

The four-time European medallist went ahead on the third length to secure a clear victory in 2:00.13 with Laura Veres – born in 2005 – second in 2:01.11.

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Ajna Kesely: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Kesely said:

“The 1500 was very much a morning swim, it actually warmed me up for the 200.

“Since there was no Bogi (Boglarka Kapas) and Zsu (Jakabos), there was no need for a better time now – if they had been here too, we would definitely have gone under two minutes.”

Dalma Sebestyen overcame a deficit of 0.13 at halfway to win the women’s 100fly in 1:00.19, just 0.01 ahead of Evelyn Verraszto in second in 1:00.20.

The fastest time of the day however was the 1:00.08 by Boglarka Kapas in the B final as the world 200 fly champion brought to an end a rollercoaster competition.

The Rio 2016 800fr bronze medallist pulled out of the 200 fly after feeling unwell in warm-up and revealed she had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, months after she had contracted the coronavirus.

Kapas then returned to win the 400IM but didn’t progress from Friday night’s 100 fly prelims.

“I ruined the preliminaries, I thought a looser swim would be enough, and then I ended up in the B-final, which was absolutely my fault.

“Now I clearly wanted to be at my personal best, which I did, even though I have so many regrets that I haven’t been under a minute but in the morning it is a pretty good time.”

Ákos Kalmár won the men’s 800 free in 7: 58.05, Katalin Burian completed the backstroke clean sweep with victory in the 50 in 28.89 with Richard Bohus took the men’s title in 25.05.

Csaba Szilágyi won the men’s 50br in 27.15 with Anna Stankovics taking the women’s title in 31.65.


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