Hungary's Kristof Milak, 19, shatters Michael Phelps' signature 200m fly world record
A 19-year-old from Hungary holds the new 200m butterfly world record after shattering the pace set by Michael Phelps a decade ago.
Kristof Malik came in as a favorite to win gold at the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea, on Wednesday and while there was talk he could break the record, it seemed unlikely. Even commentators were amazed when Malik clocked in at 1:50.73, shaving .78 seconds off of Phelps’ 2009 World Championships time.
It’s exactly one year out from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 200m fly was the signature event for Phelps, who retired after the 2016 Rio Olympics, and he held all four of the fastest times. Phelps’ record was set at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, when he finished in 1:51.51. It was a drop of three seconds over eight years.
Phelps has five world championship golds in the event, his last coming in 2011. He made his Olympic debut in the event in 2000, placing fifth, and went on to win eight Olympic medals in the 200m fly. He broke his first record in 2001 at age 15 and continued to lower his time over the years, holding it for 18 years until Malik took it over.
Milak came out running in second a full body length behind South African Chad le Clos, who finished third in 1:54.15, and came in at the half in exactly the time of Phelps. At the split he was .36 seconds under the world record pace and pulled away from the pack on the final lap.
Japan’s Daiya Seto finished second in 1:53.86