Tamas Kenderesi Wins Slow Swimoff for Final Berth in Final of 200 Butterfly


World Swimming Championships (Tamas Kenderesi)

Gwangju 2019

Day 4 Heats (Men’s 200 Butterfly Swimoff)

A tie for eighth toward the end of the Day Three evening session necessitated a swimoff between Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi and Bulgaria’s Antan Ivanov for the final berth in the final of the men’s 200 butterfly. The duel was won by Kenderesi in 1:59.39, with Ivanov finishing in 1:59.52. The times were unbelievably slow, more than three seconds back of the 1:56.25s the men produced during the semifinals.

The fact that Kenderesi prevailed and earned a chance at a World Champs medal was not surprising, but for the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the event to barely break the two-minute barrier was startling. Obviously, he’ll need to be much quicker in the final, and perhaps an easier than expected swimoff will provide Kenderesi with extra energy for the night session. In addition to holding an Olympic bronze, Kenderesi was the silver medalist in the 200 butterfly at the 2018 European Championships and was the bronze medalist in the event at the 2016 European Champs.

Kenderesi’s countryman, Kristof Milak, is the overwhelming favorite to win the gold medal medal, as he enters the final as the top seed by more than two seconds. During the semifinals, Milak blasted his way to a time of 1:52.96, which was faster than the winning time from the Rio Olympics and quicker than the winning time from the 2017 World Champs. It is unlikely that Milak can challenge the world record of 1:51.51, held by Michael Phelps, but it will be interesting to see if the Hungarian can push the 1:52 barrier. Only Phelps has ever cracked 1:52, and that performance came in 2009. Phelps holds the textile record at 1:52.09.


1. Kristof Milak, Hungary 1:52.96
2. Zach Harting, United States 1:55.26
3. Daiya Seto, Japan 1:55.33
4. Leonardo de Deus, Brazil 1:55.71
5. Chad le Clos, South Africa 1:55.88
6. Federico Burdisso, Italy 1:55.92
7. Denys Kesyl, Ukraine 1:55.95
8. Tamas Kenderesi, Hungary 1:56.25 (Won swimoff)

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Dirk G. Winkler
4 years ago

How long after the first race was the swim off?
200 fly is a very challenging event, you sure must realize this or have you lost touch with human reality? Even at this level of conditioning If the swim off was within hours you can not expect a time close to the first time….

Greg Tucker
Greg Tucker
4 years ago

They dogged it for 150 then sprinted. Gentlemen’s agreement.

Dylan Cossin
4 years ago

It was the morning after the semi-finals. Also a 1:59 is extremely slow for these swimmers, as I’m pretty sure Kenderesi has a 1:53 as his best time.

Heiko Fikenzer
4 years ago

Both had 1:56,25 in the Prelims nearly 24hours before- so that was really slow. Only the last 50 was the battle.
More impressive was the shakehand before the rasce ?

Angelika Ohm
4 years ago

Auch ein Sportschwimmer ist keine Maschine…

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