Kristóf Rasovszky will start as one of the biggest favourites of the open water swimming competitions starting on Wednesday at Lake Lupa. The athlete of Balaton Swimming Club is not bothered by high expectations and wants to finish on the podium in every discipline he starts.

For an average person a water degree of 25-26 Celsius is really pleasant, in a wellness complex even 30-32 degrees can be expected. But what about 16 or 17 degrees? While this sounds scary for most people , Kristóf Rasovszky would prefer the latter version without any doubt.

‘That’s right, a 16-degree water temperature is much favourable for me than a 30-degree one. Of course, this is not comfortable for everyone, but you have to adapt to the local circumstances, this is that kind of a discipline’ – said the athlete from Veszprém before the start of the open water competitions at Lake Lupa.

The 24-year-old swimmer has set the bar high, winning two gold and one silver medal at the previous edition of the European Championships in Glasgow and also finishing first in the 5k at the World Championships in Gwangju.

‘My performance in Glasgow will be impossible to repeat just because this time I don’t start in the 25k, but I definitely want to win medals in the 5k and the 10k respectively. Everyone knows that the main competition of the year is the Tokyo Olympics, so you cannot expect from us to be in top form now. However, the European Championships is also very important for me, especially because I can compete in a domestic environment. If I had to choose, of course it would be better to finish on the podium in the Olympic distance, so in the 10k, but I take the 5k seriously as well. As for the team event, I also hope for a medal there, but we will need an almost perfect day to achieve that.

Regarding the venue, the Lake Lupa will now make its debut in a major swimming event, but Rasovszky and his teammates will not be completely unfamiliar with the scene, as a test race was already held there in 2019.

‘Plenty of great swimmers will start in the OWS, competitions of a really high standard are expected. There will be those for whom this event will be a priority, as they do not have an Olympic quota, so this is the only chance for them to achieve something in 2021.’

Rasovszky, who was voted Open Water Swimmer of the Year in 2019 both by LEN and FINA, won a lot of respect among rivals thanks to his excellent results in recent years.

‘When you start competing on the international stage, at first your rivals reckon you as a stranger, but then as years pass and you perform better and better, they will take a different approach. Of course, we will still have tough battles in the water, it is guaranteed, and the fans will be the winners of that. Unfortunately, given the current situation, not on the spot, but with the help of the TV broadcast.’

The coronavirus pandemic poses big challenges for the organizers of the European Championships as well, but Rasovszky feels safe.

‘In March we took part in a World Cup event In Doha that was organized in a similar bubble system and everything worked great. I’m sure it will be the case here, too. Everyone will be tested on a regular basis, so I have nothing to fear, I just have to focus on racing.’

The OWS program of the LEN European Championships:

12 May: 5km W and M

13 May: 10 km W and M

15 May: Team event

16 May: 25 km W and M