Cseh and Cate in top form ahead of Rio

Laszlo Cseh may be 30 but he is still raring to go. His 50.86sec to win the European 100m fly title sends a strong challenge to Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos for Rio, where the Hungarian will be seeking his first Olympic gold.
Laszlo Cseh may be 30 but he is still raring to go. His 50.86sec to win the European 100m fly title sends a strong challenge to Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos for Rio, where the Hungarian will be seeking his first Olympic gold.

LONDON • Laszlo Cseh issued a warning to his Olympic rivals after clinching his 14th gold and first international 100m butterfly title at the European Championships on Saturday.

His time of 50.86sec propelled him to the top of the rankings as he became the only man inside 51 seconds this year and booked a possible showdown with Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos - Olympic and world champions respectively - in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

"It was a good swim but I feel I have much more in for Rio in this event as well," the 30-year-old said.

The Hungarian was the most decorated swimmer in individual events in European history coming into the meet ahead of 10-time champion Alex Popov, the Russian former freestyle great, and Ukrainian medley star Yana Klochkova. But he now pulls ever further away from such luminaries.

Cseh had already produced a stunning performance in the 200m fly, where he became the second-fastest man in history in a textile suit, splitting 18-time Olympic champion Phelps and his 2012 conqueror le Clos.

Other winners on the penultimate night at the London Aquatics Centre included Italy's Federica Pellegrini, who won her fourth consecutive 200m freestyle title by a fingertip from Femke Heemskerk.

Hungary's Boglarka Kapas completed the distance freestyle double with an emphatic victory in the 1,500m and Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki won his third successive 200m backstroke gold.

Britain's Adam Peaty added the 50m breaststroke title to his 100m gold, repeating the double feat of Berlin two years ago.

Over at the Japan Open, Australia's Cate Campbell underlined her status as favourite for the Olympic 100m freestyle gold when she matched her world-leading time of 52.38sec set at the Australian Olympic trials last month.

The 24-year-old London relay gold medallist has been in strong form this year and eclipsed her injury-hampered younger sister Bronte, the reigning world champion in the blue-riband sprint.

Bronte, 22, was third in Tokyo but is still the second-fastest woman over the distance this year, her 52.58 at the Australian trials keeping Sarah Sjoestroem (52.78) in third place on the 2016 time sheets.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2016, with the headline 'Cseh and Cate in top form ahead of Rio'. Print Edition | Subscribe