Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee

Arno Kamminga completed a treble in the breaststroke events on the last day of the Budapest stop of the FINA Swimming World Cup and the Dutch added a 4th gold in the mixed relays to join Katinka Hosszu on the top amongst the multi-medal winners. The home hero also clinched her fourth gold here in Budapest and extended her historical unbeaten run in the 200m IM to 65 races. Three swimmers added wins to have fine doubles in their respective strokes: Ryosuke Irie (JPN – 100-200m back), Danas Rapsys (LTU – 200-400m free) and Ida Hulkko (FIN – 50-100m breast). Overall top-ranked Vladimir Morozov and Katinka Hosszu both extended their lead after the fourth leg, though Aussie Cate Campbell managed to come up with the best individual effort while triumphing in the 100m free to stay close to Hosszu.

A brilliant battle kicked off the last day of the Budapest meet, it was a kind of Yuki Ikari vs Hungarian ‘IM army’ as the Japanese had to take on the best of the host nations’ medley swimmers in the 400m, including world silver medallist and European champion David Verraszto. Over the breaststroke leg Verraszto swam in front but Ikari managed to out-speed him from the 250m turn and pulled off a fine win. Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes, winner in Jinan and Singapore, had to settle for the 5th place as other strongmen of the local ‘army’ (Balazs Hollo and Gergely Gyurta) passed him.

Ikari flew like Icaros in the second half of the race - Credits: Istvan Derencsenyi

Mireia Belmonte showed something from her heydays in the 800m free, the Spaniard finally won a World Cup race after many ups and downs in the recent past. Overcoming her health issues, she seems to be able to return to her top form, though now she could come up with a fine swim in the longest distance (she had a silver from Tokyo). It’s yet to be seen if she could make it back to the elite in the 200m fly – where she is the reigning Olympic champion – and in the 400m IM where she is the only one who could beat Katinka Hosszu in the last six years.

Mireia Belmonte looks on the rise once more

There was no need to put up any ‘Make some noise’ feature on the giant video walls as the next three events all saw a Hungarian (or more) in front and the fans – again some 4,000 came to create the usual magical atmosphere – were at their best to push loudly the Magyars who made a golden treble.

Zsuzsanna Jakabos offered some fine speed to clinch the 100m fly title with a great finish after turning 5th. By adding a bronze in the 200m IM, she finished the meet with 6 medals altogether, the highest among all participants considered. 

Finally, a gold at home for Zsuzsanna Jakabos

Next came the hosts’ new muscle-man, Szebasztian Szabo, a native Hungarian born in Serbia, but today a proud national team member, who stormed to win the 50m fly (after silver in the 100m and a gold in the mixed free relay). The golden rush was completed by Kata Burian who cruised to victory in the 200m back. 

Strong and fast: Szebasztian Szabo on his way to win the 50m fly

Among the men’s backstrokers, Japan’s Ryosuke Irie made the 100-200m double with another smooth swim, this time in the shorter distance. Finland’s Ida Hulkko also clinched a double, it came on 50-100m in the breaststroke. 

But Arno Kamminga outperformed both as he managed to bag all three breaststroke titles, this time he rushed away after the halfway turn and win the 200m with ease – and more importantly for him, a personal best. His 2.07 is an alarming sign for the other greats (and by far the best effort in the men’s races in this leg): the Dutch is ready to join the big boys’ party in the near future.

Capping off the best weekend of his career with the best swim in three days: Arno Kamminga also leads the cluster-overall thanks to his outstanding treble and times

Aussie Cate Campbell overcame her minor disappointment (she left the pool empty-handed after the 50m free on the opening day, coming 4th) – and the current runner-up in the overall race did a brilliant job in the 100m, her 53.00sec was the women’s meet’s best effort based on the FINA points, and the bonus kept her close to Hosszu in the overall.

Broad smile from Cate Campbell - a win and the 24-point bonus for the top performance of the meet

Two more doubles closed the series of individual finals in Budapest. First Danas Rapsys added the 200m free gold to his 400m crown, the Lithuanian swam a really strong race (again, bit surprisingly, the pressure came from home fly-king Kristof Milak who finished second).

Then, as a worthy finish to the three-day spectacle, Katinka Hosszu fulfilled the crowd’s expectations and won the 200m IM pretty easily. It was her 4th gold here, the 9th for the Magyars but on a more significant note, it was her 65th victory in a row in this event (at only FINA and continental championships and World Cup races, long- and short-course included). The last time she lost a 200m IM race dates back to 15 December 2012 – since then no one could get ahead of her, an extraordinary run indeed.

Katinka Hosszu blew the field away on the breaststoke leg

The Netherlands 4x100m mixed relay’s triumph concluded the Budapest leg, only to put Arno Kamminga to the top of the winners’ list among the men as it was his 4th gold in these amazing three days.

The Budapest leg didn’t shake up the overall standings that much. Vladimir Morozov, winning 3/3 here thus claiming the maximum ranking points possible (and resting on Sunday) extended his lead 66 points, ahead of Danas Rapsys who moved to the second place. Among the women the race for the $150,000 top prize is much more exciting, Katinka Hosszu doubled the gap but it’s still only 12 points ahead of Cate Campbell and here the race for the third place looks quite tight.

Danas Rapsys enjoyed another fine weekend with two titles and those pushed him up in the ranks

Also, the contest for the cluster prize money looks pretty balanced, Arno Kamminga currently tops this ranking with 60 points, Morozov is second with 54, while Rapsys (33), Irie and Milak (30 apiece) will have a big fight for the third place. The women’s standings promise some thrills too with Hosszu atop (48) followed by Campbell and and Toussaint (42-42).

Stay tuned, the next stop in Berlin is going to offer sheer excitements – and it’s in the corner, beginning next Friday!

Standings, overall after four legs

MEN

1 MOROZOV Vladimir RUS 210

2 RAPSYS Danas LTU 144

3 WILSON Andrew USA 129

4 LARKIN Mitch AUS 108

5 ANDREW Michael USA 105

6 SZABO Szebasztian HUN 96

 

WOMEN

1 HOSSZU Katinka HUN 204

2 CAMPBELL Cate AUS 192

3 SEEBOHM Emily AUS 105

4 COLEMAN Michelle SWE 96

5 JAKABOS Zsuzsanna HUN 93

6 BARRATT Holy AUS 66

Quotes from the winners

Mireia Belmonte (ESP), winner of 800m free

“We train a lot, so now the 800m fitted best to my programme that’s why I could achieve my best result here and not on the other distances (as the 400m IM and 200m fly). Of course, the Olympics are in my focus and I want to enter all my main events there.”

(on her health) “I’m fine now, thank you, I feel very good.”

Yuki Ikari (JPN), winner of 400m IM

“I am happy, thanks for the fans for their support. It was nice to swim here.”

Zsuzsanna Jakabos (HUN), winner of 100m fly

“Oh, finally I could win a race here in the Arena, it’s awesome. Well, I haven’t thought of winning the race just wanted to clock a good time. During the race, in the second leg, it was like, OK, let’s give it a shot whether I could catch up the others or not. They are obviously better in the 50m fly so they have the speed but at the end I managed to touch in first. Well, I’m a bit tired now, on the third day, but a win like this helps to recover very fast.”

Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), winner of 50m fly

“This was a good race and a good time. I always compare my results to the ones I achieved a year ago and now I’m much more ahead than in 2018. This is such a great week, on Wednesday I learnt that the IOC had granted me the right to swim for Hungary in Tokyo (he was born in Serbia, though he is a native Hungarian), I got a silver in the 100m, yesterday a gold in the relay, now an individual gold, in front of such a great crowd – well, this is tremendous motivation for the coming weeks.”

Kata Burian (HUN), winner of 200m back

“Third day, my legs were hurting a lot so my coach told me, I should not push too hard, just clock a time which would be enough to win this race. Well, I did that, but I pushed it, of course as you are supposed to give everything when you have a crowd like this. At this time of the year we are not supposed to have great times, still, all of my teammates do better than expected as all of us get electrified by our fans.”

Ryosuke Irie (JPN), winner of 100m back

“I would have loved to clock a bit better time, a 52-something (53.50 was his winning time), as I need to do 52 more frequently to reach my goal which is a 51sec swim when it really matters. It’s a progress, and I think this race was a good one in this process.”

Ida Hulkko (FIN), winner of 50m breast

“I’m so happy, this is my first World Cup here in Budapest and it’s simply amazing, thanks for the fans, they create such an incredible atmosphere, it’s so great to swim in a pool like this. And it’s a fast pool, I’m really grateful for this event and can’t wait to return next year.”

Arno Kamminga (NED), winner of 200m breast

“This is amazing, finally I could get a 2:07. I have been chasing this for so long and now I achieved that, it feels great. The training camp in Rome was great, fantastic pools, inspiring atmosphere. Coming here I wanted to have my first World Cup win, I was joking to clock PBs – now I have all new PBs in all three distances, three golds, cannot wish for any more now.”

Cate Campbell (AUS), winner of 100m free

“I really wanted to swim a 52, but this 53.00, I mean, it’s good. This was my first 100m free in the new season after I swam all World Cup races in Asia and then took some time off. Now I’m getting back to it, it’s solid racing and it’s a good win having so many fast girls in the final."

"On the opening day I really felt the jetlag, (in the 50m free) it came down to very small margins. Obviously I was a little bit disappointed, but it was the best I could do in that night in such a strong field." 

Danas Rapsys (LTU), winner of 200m free

“It was good, a 1:45 after holidays is a pretty solid time. It’s hard to swim the 400m on the first day after coming back from vacation so this 200m felt much better. As for the future, I keep the focus on both distances, for sure.”

Katinka Hosszu (HUN), winner of 200m IM

“I really enjoyed this one, the time is great for the autumn season. Some said that I started a bit slowly but to be honest, I learnt how to swim this event for the smallest details so it’s kind of enjoying the race, enjoy the competition in the first half, to go neck-to-neck, then came the breaststroke which can be decisive, I pushed it hard and it in fact decided the outcome. It was a great meet, won all events I wished to, times were great, so it was another brilliant weekend in my home pool.”