Swimming: Kapas in four-gold sweep for Hungary

Boglarka Kapas of Hungary on her way to winning the women's 400m freestyle final at the European Aquatics Championships in London on Sunday.
Boglarka Kapas of Hungary on her way to winning the women's 400m freestyle final at the European Aquatics Championships in London on Sunday. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Britain win rare European relay double, but distance domination by Kapas the standout

LONDON • Boglarka Kapas won her fourth gold medal of the European swimming championships on Sunday as Hungary topped the final medal table while hosts Britain wrapped up the pool action with a rare relay double.

The 23-year-old had already won the 800m, 1,500m and 4x200 freestyle golds and she added the 400m to her collection with a time of 4min 3.47 sec, ahead of Britain's defending champion Jazz Carlin.

Kapas said: "When I saw I had swum 4:03, I couldn't believe my eyes. I dared to switch gears at 150m and this meet has given me an enormous boost."

The time moved her up to sixth in the world rankings ahead of the Rio Olympics in August.

Hungary ended the meet with 10 golds and a total of 19 medals, fewer than Britain, who took their haul for the week to 22 but only seven of them gold.

Two of those came in the closing relays, with the women winning the 4x100m medley by more than two seconds before the men raised the roof by retaining their title in the final race by a clear second.

It was the first time Britain had won both the medley relays at a European Championships.

"The chemistry is building within this team and that's only going to grow in the build-up to Rio," said 50m and 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty, who ended the meet with four golds despite being in heavy training.

Head coach Bill Furniss' instructions were for his team to swim tactically good races.

He was mindful that some nations were using the championships as trials for the Rio Olympics while others saw it more as extended training and some did not turn up at all.

He said: "You have to put the competition in context... You can't do everything and have eight weeks of displaced training."

Attention now turns to Brazil for the British team. At the 2012 London Games, the hosts failed to win a gold medal in the pool, managing just a silver and two bronzes.

Defending Olympic champions Florent Manaudou of France and Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands again won gold in the London pool in the men's and women's 50m freestyle.

World champion Manaudou won his final in 21.73sec, with Ukraine's Andriy Govorov second in 21.79sec and Britain's Ben Proud taking the bronze in 21.85, but disappointed not to have completed the race with more of a flourish.

"I came here to win and I did it. But I'm very disappointed with the time," Proud said. "I expected a much better one."

Germany's Franziska Hentke won the women's 200m butterfly gold, beating Liliana Szilagyi by 0.01sec. The Hungarian had missed the 100m podium by 0.04sec earlier in the week.

Szilagyi said: "It's a bit ironic to lose by 0.01 when you are leading all the way but if this should happen, let it happen here and not in Rio."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2016, with the headline 'Kapas in four-gold sweep for Hungary'. Print Edition | Subscribe