Champion Gyurta targets Yamaguchi record
Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta has targeted regaining the world record after winning the men’s 200m breaststroke for the third time in succession on Friday at the swimming world championships.
Gyurta, the Olympic champion, added to his 2009 and 2011 world titles in the event when he clocked a championship record time of 2 min, 07.23 sec in Barcelona with Germany’s Marco Koch second at 1.31 back and Finland’s Matti Mattsson 1.72 adrift in third.
Having won gold in the Olympic final with a thenworld record time, Gyurta said his target now is Akihiro Yamaguchi’s world record of 2 min, 07.01 sec, set by the Japanese teenager in September last year.
The 18-year-old Yamaguchi finished seventh in Friday’s final.
“I have studied his swim and I tried to do something similar. I didn’t manage to do it here, but I hope to get my world record back,” said the Hungarian.
Having finished second as a 15- year- old at the 2004 Olympic final in Athens, the 24- year- old Gyurta said it took him a long time to be consistent on the world stage. He failed to medal at the 2008 Olympics.
“I was 15 in Athens and I had to grow up and learn to compete at the top level again,” he said, having become the first Hungarian to win three consecutive world titles.
“I am pretty proud of this achievement, but it is an even better feeling for me that I can do this after an Olympic gold medal and this will motivate me to continue on to Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“The breaststroke field is quite balanced, so I can’t say exactly how many more golds I can get, but I will keep trying my best to stay focused.”
Koch was happy with his silver, Germany’s first medal in the Palau Sant Jordi pool.
“It feels very good, I feel very happy with my time,” said the German, who said his late arrival in Barcelona had helped his cause having failed to make the Olympic final in London last year.
“It was my first final and a first medal so it was perfect. I didn’t change much in my preparations from London.
“The difference was that I arrived here very late, on Sunday, just a few days before my race, whereas in London I was there about 10 days before.
“I was waiting around so I think it is much better for me to do it the way I did this year.”
Having failed to qualify for the semifinals at the Olympics, Mattsson said he was amazed to get bronze.
“It was my dream just to get to the final so to win a medal is incredible,” he said.
Hungary’s Daniel Gyurta competes in the final of the 200m breaststroke in Barcelona on Friday.