19-Year-Old Kristof Milak Breaks Michael Phelps’ 200m Butterfly World Record

Sports

At the World Swimming Championships on Wednesday, Hungarian swimmer Kristof Milak won the 200-meter butterfly, breaking Michael Phelps’ world record in the process.

The 19-year-old produced an astounding performance to take gold in one minute, 50.73 seconds, beating Phelps’ previous benchmark by an impressive 0.78 seconds:

South African Chad le Clos set an early pace in the final, leaving the competitors under world-record pace at the halfway mark. However, the Hungarian Milak blew away the rest of the field in the second half of the race.

Eventually, Milak’s nearest competitor was Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:53.86), while Le Clos did enough to take third (1:54.15).

The most recent world record by Phelps was set at the 2009 world championships in Rome. Pat Forde of Yahoo put into context for just how long the American was at the summit of the 200-meter butterfly: 

Phelps retired from swimming following the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He is the most decorated Olympian of all time, having won 28 medals in total at the Games, 23 of which were gold.

Milak was crowned European champion a year ago, but the world record stands as his finest career achievement to date.

All eyes will be on the Hungarian on Friday, when he will be in action in the heats of the 100-meter butterfly event ahead of Saturday’s final.

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