SHENZHEN, China, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — In the absence of Michael Phelps, it could be golden days for Hungarian star swimmer Laszlo Cseh to dominate the Shenzhen Universiade pool.
"Without Micheal, the race is different," the 26-year old Cseh said after he pocketed his third gold medal at the Universiade here on Thursday night.
Three years ago, at the Beijing Olympics, Cseh took three silver medals — 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m medley, exactly the same events he won at this Universiade.
The three Olympic golds certainly belonged to Micheal Phelps.
Bitter rival. But something bitter has accompanied Cseh far more earlier than Phelps.
"I came here with my asthma," Cseh said.
When Cseh was a four-year old boy, he was diagnosed with asthma — a disease seriously harmed his lung capacity.
Cseh is good at medley, but his career is not a peaceful melody.
"I have been training very hard," Cseh said.
He went to Poland at the age of 10, hoping to cure his asthma. But even today, he has to bring pills along with him.
At the 2003 World Championships, he got a silver medal in the 400m medley, marking his new chapter at the highest level competition.
A year later in Athens, he won a bronze medal in the 400m medley.
He picked up his first gold medal at the world championships in 2005 in the same race.
But then came Michael Phelps.
The gap of 0.67 second separated Cseh from Phelps at the men’s 200m medley three years ago in Beijing.
That could be the most narrow gap for the all-time chaser.
So, even when Cseh won three golds in Universiade, he had to admit,"The race is different without Phelps."
"He is strong, but I don’t think he is invincible. I am hoping to beat him all the time," Cseh noted. And he knew he had to fight against another rival.
"I am going to talk with my doctor, we want to cure the asthma. It is OK, though, in Hungary, doctors always tell you that if you suffered from asthma, go to swim then, so I am now at here," Cseh said.
"See you in London," he walked out the venue, concluding his golden days at Universiade while continueing his way against Phelps, and the asthma.