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Cseh Supreme In Another HUN 1-2

Aug 15, 2010  - Craig Lord

European Championships, Budapest, day 7 finals:

Men 400m medley:

Laszlo Cseh was the embodiment of swimming skill and control on his way to a 4:10.95 victory, teammate David Verraszto following for silver in 4:12.56. Hungarian tradition is honoured: Cseh matched the record four titles in a row set by the legendary Tamas Darnyi in the 1990s. Guess what: the home crowd went berserk. Bronze went to Gal Nevo (ISR) in 4:15.10.

No question who wanted to be king and who had the tools to make sure the crown would end up being fastened to his head for a fourth time of asking: Cseh, coached by Gyorgy Turi, has one of the most fabulous skill sets in world swimming. He is a joy to behold, particularly when you can report that the swimmer is emperor of his art, unadulterated by a shiny add-on. 

The splits tell the tale of his pace, courage, dominance and determination at the helm of a result that produced a second well-deserved 1-2 for the hosts who have put on a magnificent show here on Margaret Island.

  • Cseh:        56.63; 2:00.00; 3:11.29; 4:10.95
  • Verraszto: 58.86; 2:02.79; 3:13.57; 4:12.96

The victory was sealed in the opening 200m and the knowledge that fitness and experience built over the long-term would see the 25-year-old sidle up to Darnyi on the Euro count, with 4 titles each and contributing to a Hungarian tradition that now boasts a record 10 European titles since the event was introduced to the championships in 1962.

Cseh said: "I knew that I would not have too much to do to win this race. That's why I swam the last 100m so relaxed." More in the tank on the way to Shanghai 2011 worlds and the next meeting with Ryan Lochte (USA).

Verraszto said: "Since I didn't achieve what I wanted in the 200m, the silver is a little compensation. And after all, I clocked a lifetime best. It's not easy to beat Laszlo Cseh. he's simply the best!"

Nevo said: Always the same people - the Hungarians on top! I want to get closer to them and that's my goal in the years ahead - but it will be damned difficult."

History unfolding:

Effect on race on all-time top 10:

Euro podiums:

  • 2010: 4:10.35 - 4:15.10
  • 2008: 4:09.59 - 4:17.24
  • 2006: 4:09.86 - 4:16.34

Euro finals:

  • 2010: 
  • 2008: 4:09.59 - 4:23.04*
  • 2006: 4:09.86 - 4:20.76
  • * - Ioannis Drymonakos (GRE), 4:14.72, had already tested positive for steroids in an out-of-competition test on March 6, 2008, and was subsequently suspended for two years
  • Most Euro wins: Tamas Darnyi (HUN), Laszlo Cseh (HUN) - 4 each 
  • Most Titles/Nation: HUN, 10
  • Tightest Podium: 1999 - gold to bronze - 1.1sec

From the archive: Hungarians have long and often led the way on medley in Europe and over 400m medley the historic gold count has the Magyars out in front on 9 crowns. Four of those, spanning 1985 to 1993 belong to Tamas Darnyi, who never lost a European medley fight. At Sheffield in 1993, a year after Darnyi had retained both Olympic medley crowns, he surprised many by returning to the fray. Surely, after having missed the 1991 European show, he could not hold back the hands of time? In fact, that is just what he did do: not only did he keep at bay young thunder staring to roll, in the shape of Jani Sievinen, of Finland, but in doing so by 0.27sec in 4:15.24, he achieved his fastest winning time of all four of his continental crowns (albeit by just 0.01sec inside his 1989 winning time). He then withdrew from the 200m, avoided a second clash with the Finn and forged a perfect winning record in unbendable steel.


Shiny suit era

  • WR: 4:03.84 Michael Phelps (USA) Aug 2008
  • ER:  4:06.16 Laszlo Cseh (HUN) Aug 2008

February 1  2008

  • WR: 4:06.22 Michael Phelps (USA) Apr 2007
  • ER:  4:09.63 Laszlo Cseh (HUN) Jul 2005