Hungary’s Kristof Milak topped Michael Phelps’ world record in the 200-meter butterfly on Wednesday at the 2019 FINA World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea. Milak set the new mark at 1:50.73, bettering 23-time Olympic gold medalist’s record by nearly a full second (1:51.51).
Milak had been gearing up towards this feat for the last two seasons. The Budapest native set a junior world record in the 100-meter when the world championships were in his hometown in 2017. He eventually took home the silver.
In the semifinals of the 200-meter in South Korea, he provided a glimpse of what he could do in the final 50-meter stretch, according to Swim Swam:
He closed the race in a 29.12, the fastest closing split of the entire field by seven-tenths, to post a 1:52.96, nearly 3 seconds ahead of the nearest swimmer (Zach Harting 1:55.26). That time ties Milak as the 11th-fastest performance in history, the same time that South African Chad le Clos won with at the 2012 Olympics. And even after accelerating away from Le Clos in the last 20 meters in the semi-final, he didn’t look that gassed – no dig into his bag for that final stroke to the wall.
These are Milak’s splits from tonight compared to Phelps’ world record run a decade ago.
|PHELPS, 2009||MILAK, 2019|
|52.88 (28.12)||52.88 (28.22)|
|1:21.93 (29.05)||1:21.57 (28.69)|
|1:51.51 (29.58)||1:50.73 (29.16)|
Here is video of his record run.