28. August 2017

The Stars of Swimming and Track and Field: Hungarian Athletes Continue to Churn out Medals

Young titans of swimming and two stars in the MOL Talent Support Program, Kristóf Milák and Nándor Németh had a great showing – in more than one event – at the World Junior Swimming Championships in Indianapolis. In the meantime, top class sponsorship affiliates Balázs Baji, celebrated athlete from the World Athletics Championships, took gold in hurdles, and Anita Márton silver in the shot put.

After the 4x100m freestyle medley team made up of Kristóf Milák, Márton Barta, Richárd Márton and Nándor Németh won on the opening day of the World Junior Championships, the 4x200m men’s freestyle medley team, with Richárd Márton, Kristóf Milák, Balázs Holló and Nándor Németh set a new junior world record in beating Team USA to grab gold by just one hundredth of a second over the weekend. This result opened a new page in the history books: never before has there been a world event with two Hungarian gold medals in medley competition.

It was just phenomenal, the way Nándi brought up the rear, and we were screaming, it’s unbelievable,” Márton said. “When we saw we were beating the world record, we started screaming to Nándi from the top of our lungs, and I just kept whacking the starting block”, Kristóf Milák added.

Németh made up a whole lot of lost ground with simply incredible performance, but he swam so hard that he had to be given medical treatment, which is why he was forced to miss the medal ceremony.

Before the medley team’s success, Kristóf Milák won the 100m butterfly stroke gold medal – the 17-year-old star swimmer’s victory time was 51.08 seconds, which is a bit off the 50.62 junior world record and Hungarian record time he swam at the adult World Championships held almost a month ago in Hungary, and which gave him the silver there. After the race, Milák told the Hungarian Swimming Association that he was thrilled to have been able to get back at his Russian rival, Egor Kuymov, who beat him at the European Junior Championships in Netanya.

Kristóf Milák also swam in the 50m finals and finished the sprint event in third place with a time of 23.72 seconds. “I knew before the event started that gold was way out of reach, but I still managed to finish on the podium despite the fact that the 50m butterfly stroke isn’t among my strengths,” Milák said.

Nándor Németh thoroughly bested his personal record (1:47.14) to finish second in the 200m freestyle with a time of 1:46.79 minutes. Incidentally, that time was within the junior world record. “There were three of us who swam better than world record times, which goes to show the strength of today’s field. My coach told me that my personal best might be good for gold, I even hit it, but it just wasn’t good enough.”

Olympic bronze medallist shot putter Anita Márton won the silver medal at the athletics Diamond League Series finals held in Zurich on Thursday, after recently having a mighty throw for the silver at the World Athletics Championships in London.

Then, Balázs Baji – whose name we all learned after he took the bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in London – won gold in the 110m hurdles race at Universiade in Taiwan. The day’s competition was interrupted several times by torrential downpours, and there was almost a half hour delay in starting the 110m hurdles finals. The first start in the final heat was unsuccessful, but Balázs caught the second one perfectly, kept pace with his rivals for a short stretch, then left them all in his wake from about half distance, winning with a result of 13.35 seconds.

The 28-year-old veterinarian and athlete talked about the chance for opening a new chapter after his success in London: “I hope I have some very good years ahead of me. The Euro Championships will be held next year, followed by another World Championships, with the Tokyo Olympic Games coming soon after that. I hope my run in London was a new beginning for me, and I’ll be able to walk up to the starting line with more self-confidence,” the sprinter said.

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