The Spanish swimmer Hugo González completed the feat and, just one hour after hanging the silver medal in the 100 backstroke, he was proclaimed the new European champion of the 200 strokes with a time of 1m 56s 76 hundredths, a new record for Spain. The triumph allowed the Balearic swimmer to add his third medal in the championships held in Budapest, in which he already has a gold, in the 200 styles, a silver, in the 100 backstroke, and a bronze, in the 50 backstroke.
It was not easy for the Spaniard, who not only had to overcome accumulated fatigue, but also had among his rivals some of the best swimmers in the world, such as the Swiss Jeremy Desplanches, the British Duncan Scott or the legendary Hungarian Laszlo Cesh. But Hugo González has arrived at the event in an excellent moment of form, as evidenced not only by his medals, but by the times. His physical and mental strength allowed him, thanks to the work of the physios Mónica Solana and Raúl Moreno, who worked hard in a “rapid recovery massage”, to recover in time from the effort made in the final of the 100 back, which was barely disputed. An hour before.
The Spanish showed it from the first post, about 50 meters to butterfly, which ended in sixth position 64 hundredths behind the Swiss Desplanches, who came out ready to revalidate the gold achieved three years ago in Glasgow. The deficit widened to 1.06 seconds after the backstroke, in which veteran Laszlo Cseh took the lead in the event with a magnificent performance.
Hugo González, who after the breaststroke post was already scanning the medals, did not give up, after touching the wall in fourth position, 58 hundredths behind the Swiss Desplanches, who returned to the front of the final. But neither Desplanches, a true European champion and current world runner-up, nor anyone could contain the acceleration that Hugo González starred in the free swim, a final post in which he was the only one capable of swimming in 27 seconds. Hugo González was proclaimed the new European champion after finally surpassing Desplanches by 19 hundredths.
The title was accompanied by a new record for Spain. He lowered his previous national record by 1.27s to place himself in third place in the world rankings of the year, less than two months away for the Tokyo Olympics. At the Olympic event, he already has his presence in Tokyo in the 200 styles and 100 backstroke events, and will try to achieve a new ticket in the 200 backstrokes this Friday.
In the 100m backstroke, González, who posted a time of 52.90s, his personal best, was just two hundredths behind the Romanian Robert Glinta, the new European distance champion. The title seemed, at times, within reach of the Spaniard who, after a conservative first 50 meters, was the fastest in the second pitch.
Hugo González was the only one capable of swimming the final 50m in less than 27 seconds, a terminal speed that allowed him to gradually advance places. From the sixth position in which he started the last pitch, in just a few strokes he was next to the leading group. The podium was completed by Greek Apostolos Christou and French Yohann Ndoye Brouard, who shared the bronze, after signing a time of 52.97. Much further behind was the current runner-up in the world, Russian Evgeny Rylov, who could not escape from the eighth and final place.