Commentary Sport

Milák shatters Phelps’ 200m butterfly world record

19-year-old Hungarian swimmer Kristóf Milák shattered Michael Phelps’ 2009 world record in the 200m butterfly final at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Milák began the final with a poor start, but gradually increased his speed and in the last 50 meters he left the others behind, only racing against the clock. He hit the finish with a time of 1:50.73, shaving almost eight tenths of a second off Phelps’ 1:51.51.

“I began the race in a good mood, had no anxieties whatsoever. I didn’t think about the time, I just wanted to swim and finally win a gold medal,” Milák said after the race. “Once I did my dolphin kicks, I started to focus solely on myself. I didn’t think of anything else, just my rhythm that I practice in training.”

Phelps, whose world record stood for a decade, was happy to see how Milák won the race.

“As frustrated as I am to see that record go down, I couldn’t be happier to see how he did it,” Phelps, who won the event in three Olympics and lowered the world record seven times told the New York Times. “That kid’s last 100 was incredible. He put together a great 200 fly from start to finish.”

Milák, who began swimming at the age of five, switched from backstroke to butterfly at the age of 14 as his strength improved with age.

Title image: Hungarian swimmer Kristóf Milák celebrates 200m butterfly world record (MTI/Tamás Kovács)

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