Number of medal events: 42
Form of competition
Events are held at distances from 50 meters to 1,500 meters. At the World Championships the morning session includes preliminary heats while the evening one features semi-finals and finals. Based on the results of preliminary heats, athletes with the best time advance to the next stage.
In case of longer distances and relays, 8 participants showing the best competitive time in preliminary heats qualify for the finals, which are on the same day, except for the 800m and 1,500m where events are held on the following day. In the 50m, 100m and 200m events the 16 fastest swimmers from the preliminaries qualify to the semi-finals. The eight fastest swimmers of the semis go through to the finals conducted on the following day.
The history of swimming dates back to the Stone Age, becoming an organised sports discipline in the early 19th century.
Prehistoric man learned to swim in order to cross rivers and lakes – we know this because cave paintings from the Stone Age depicting swimmers have been found in Egypt. Swimming was also referred to in Greek mythology.
Swimming was not widely practiced until the early 19th century, when the National Swimming Society of Great Britain began to hold competitions. Most early swimmers used breaststroke style or its variations.
In 1908, the world swimming association Federation Internationale de Natation des Amateurs (FINA) was formed. The aquatics discipline of swimming has been the core component of every edition of the FINA World Aquatics Championships since its introduction in 1973. The number of events contested for at each edition of the championships has grown steadily through the years. In 1973, 29 events were swum: 15 events for men and 14 events for women. In 2015, the combined number of events for men and women including long course and open water events was 49, a drastic increase compared to the first edition. Historically, 50 different events were contested at 16 editions of the championships.
Due to the fact that the first Olympic champion of the world’s swimming history was a Hungarian – Alfréd Hajós – it is just only natural to feel obliged by the past, and as we can see, his successors manage to live up to the expectations and challenges. The successes of 1896 were followed by others in swimming: 19 swimmers can be proud of winning 28 Olympic gold medals altogether. The most outstanding career is that of Krisztina Egerszegi, who is unique in world’s swimming among women competitors by collecting five individual Olympic titles, earned between 1988 and 1996. Another unique achievement belongs to the four-time gold medallist Tamás Darnyi, who was undefeated in IM races at international events between 1985 and 1993. We can also recall the legendary success of Ferenc Csik at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin in 100m freestyle, while the Hungarian women swimmers excelled at the 1952 Games.
We cannot leave out the success at the FINA World Championships! László Cseh was world champion in 2005 Montreal (400 IM), and 2015 Kazan (200 butterfly) – the first swimmer ever winning titles 10 years apart. Besides of these two gold medals, Cseh won 4 silver, and 2 bronze medals at the last 4 Olympic Games.
The most outstanding figures of the present from the Hungarian swimming team are triple Olympic champion Katinka Hosszú (the first swimmer to break the 1 million dollar barrier earned solely from prize money), Olympic and 3-times world champion Daniel Gyurta, and Olympic medallists Laszlo Cseh, Boglarka Kapas and Tamas Kenderesi.
Number of events: 42
Equipment: starting block, lane ropes
Gear: swimwear, cap, goggles
Competiton venue: Danube Arena