Szabo Wins Hungary’s First Euro SC Title In Men’s 50 Free, Ends Russian Streak

Tuesday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 7th
Aquatics Palace, Kazan Russia
SCM (25m)
Prelim recap

Szebasztian Szabo won the first-ever Hungarian gold medal in the men’s 50 freestyle at the European Short Course Championships, blasting a time of 20.72 in the final to overcome a competitive field in Kazan.

Szabo, who was the upset winner of the men’s 100 fly on Wednesday, not only became the first Hungarian to win the men’s 50 free at the competition, but is also just the second swimmer from Hungary to win a medal in the event.

At the 2019 Championships in Glasgow, Maxim Lobanovszkij became the nation’s first medalist in the event by claiming bronze behind sprinting giants Vladimir Morozov and Florent Manaudou.

Morozov’s victory in 2019 marked the fourth consecutive 50 free title for Russia (with Morozov winning three out of the four), so Szabo’s win in Kazan also puts an end to that streak (on Russian soil, no less).

Morozov was in tonight’s field, tying for bronze in 20.95 alongside Poland’s Pawel Juraszek. Italian Lorenzo Zazzeri (20.68) picked up silver.

For Szabo, who used to represent Serbia internationally, his time of 20.72 marked a new best, lowering his 20.87 from the semis, and left the 25-year-old just .04 shy of Lobanovszkij’s national record of 20.68 set in 2019.

Gigler Re-Lowers Austrian Record

Austria’s Heiko Gigler completed a trifecta of National Records in the men’s 50 free final, breaking the mark for the third consecutive time in 21.25.

Gigler, 25, came into the meet holding the Austrian Record at 21.42, set at the 2019 Euro SC Championships in Glasgow. He then knocked it down to 21.39 in the heats, 21.33 in the semis and then hit 21.25 in the final to finish seventh.

Gigler represented Austria at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this past summer, placing 22nd in the 50 free.

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