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Swimming: Ageless József Csikány Dr. is in excellent form

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Father of senior swimming in Hungary, all-time recorder József Csikány Dr. entered his very last heat at the 17th FINA World Masters Championships.

He entered 3 backstroke races, he finished second both in 200m and 100m backstroke, he just missed the second place and finished third in 50m backstroke on Sunday morning. In 4x50 m freestyle relay he and his team claimed gold, he won two more silver medals in the two mixed medley relays. Altogether the record holder claimed 1 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medals at this year’s masters. He told us he feels sorry about not clinching an individual gold, yet he is happy about his results.

By the way József Csikány Dr. is a 20-time masters world champion and 18-time masters European champion. In his professional career his biggest achievements include the bronze he earned in 1962 in Leipzig and another bronze he won in 1966 in Utrecht with the mixed medley team.

His talent for swimming was obvious from an early age. As early as age 10 he was a member of Ferencváros youth swimming team. He won 2 gold medals at Universiade tournaments and he was a finalist at 2 summer Olympics (1960 Rome and 1964 Tokyo). He quitted professional swimming in 1968 and played polo for the next 15 years, then he founded the first Hungarian senior swimming club with his mates.

He told us once they attended a swimming tournament in Rome, they travelled home at night, then at 4 a.m. they drove to Germany and played a water polo match there at 6 p.m. Not much later he decided to stop playing water polo and concentrate on his senior swimming career.

He also said he had contributed to organizing several championships, he had entered numerous championships, but the tournament this year was a special one, he found it one of the best tournaments he had ever attended.

He came to the 17th FINA World Masters Championships with more than 30 senior swimmers from Törökbálint and they get on well outside the pool, as well. They founded Törökbálint Senior Swimming Club in 1987, since then they have attended 15 masters championships. Their team’s most successful championships performance was that of 2010 in Göteborg, where they collected 18 gold medals.

Csilla Csikány, József’s daughter is also participating in the masters this summer. She entered backstroke and freestyle, with the medley team they just missed the gold medal. Ever since Csilla got old enough to enter the 25+ category at the masters, she has attended every masters championships edition.

Apparently József is in great physical form and told us he would continue swimming until he is able to do so and it looks good from outside as well.