“Milák has gone past my expectations; he’s a world-class swimmer”
Kristóf Milák's gold and silver medals in Tokyo also mean that his coach, Attila Selmeci has reached the peak of his career.
|Like his athlete, Attila Selmeci does not wish to see water for a while (Photo: István Mirkó)|
"I can't find words..."
We were over the sensational final of the 100 butterfly, the silver medal was already around Kristóf Milák's neck, one of the Japanese journalists already finished the mandatory press conference. However, Attila Selmeci still could hardly believe what his athlete had done Saturday dawn (Hungary time).
But, of course, he only groped for words for a moment or two, and then he found his tongue.
“Kristóf has gone past my expectations,” the master began. “I felt that he was performing better in the finals than the time (50.31) he swam in the semifinals. I was hoping for a result of about 50 seconds, and it even occurred to me that he would go under, but I've never in my dream did I even think of a 49.68 result. What Kristóf did on this day is again a shining proof that he is a great swimmer, and I can safely say that he is a world-class swimmer. After all, who is capable of such a performance by being primarily a 200-m swimmer (I want to emphasize that I was mainly preparing him for the 200 butterfly), nothing more can be said about him. Of course, this time result required Caeleb Dressel's pressure that brought the best out of Kristóf. Kristóf didn't talk about it, but his every move, his whole behavior showed that he was very prepared for the American. It's always a problem with him that goes to bed late, but this time, he locked the door very early, and we couldn't even say a word to him. He prepared himself mentally, too, since he knew he had to swim well against the American if he wanted to catch him.”
In Attila Selmeci's view, the start basically determined the final of the 100 fly, and it's not questionable whether Dressel is far ahead of the world with his start and dolphin kicks underwater. The master believes that Dressel had a great tactic when he started off strongly because he knew that was the only way to clinch the gold: “There is no swimmer in the world other than Kristóf who is capable of swimming such a second 50 meters!"
Just for clarity: Milák swam 26.03 on the second 50 meters, while Dressel swam 26.45, but the difference between them was slightly greater in the first length – of course, in reverse order (Dressel: 23.00, Milák: 23.65).
"If Kristóf started only one and a half tenths better, or his flip turn came out better because he glided too long to the wall there, then I feel that the Tokyo champion of the 100m butterlfy wouldn't be called Caeleb Dressel, but Kristóf Milák. But let's not be dissatisfied; this was good, and it was beautiful,” continued Attila Selmeci, who also revealed that they learned from what happened before the final of the 200 butterfly, being late, the carelessness, the losing of the accreditation card. So, as promised by the master, on Saturday, Kristóf Milák received a “bodyguard” in the person of Péter Szájer, the leader of the Hungarian swimming team, watched his every move. "This time, everything went well, which made Kristóf more relaxed when walking to the starting block for the 200 butterfly. The two favorites stood back to back there all the time, and we could feel the tension from the stands as well."
The trainer hopes that his athlete will be sufficiently motivated again after the well-deserved rest, since it is never good for a swimmer to just work, only to swim from wall to wall without proper goals.
This is, of course, the (near) future, as neither the coach nor his athlete wants to see water for a while.
"I mean I don't want to see the swimming pool, because I like to relax on any waterfront," Attila Selmeci smiled. “I'm sure I'll need a month's rest. I admit that I'm tired. Not necessarily because of the Olympic competitions, but because the journey to get this far was undeniably long. Yes, for me, this gold and silver medals represent the peak of my career. It is great happiness and pride to leave Tokyo with such achievements, as well as the fact that we were key people of the Hungarian swimming team which also entails responsibility."