European Championships: Kristof Milak Wins 100 Fly In 50.33; Flies Past Laszlo Cseh As First Hungarian With Two Golds

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Kristof Milak: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

European Championships: Kristof Milak Wins 100 Fly In 50.33; Moves Past Laszlo Cseh As First Hungarian To Win Two Golds

Kristof Milak added the European 100m butterfly title to his world crown to move beyond legend Laszlo Cseh as the first Hungarian man to win two golds.

The Olympic silver medallist turned 0.18 inside his European record time in 23.47 to raise the very real prospect of him dipping inside 49.68 and getting in on some record-breaking action of his own.

However, Milak’s second 50 of 26.86 propelled him to a time of 50.33 as he retained the title he won for the first time in Budapest last year, two months before finishing behind Caeleb Dressel in Tokyo.

He became the first Hungarian to win the title on two occasions, one more than Cseh who won a solitary gold and two silvers at three straight editions in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

It was Milak’s second gold of the Foro Italico meet after the 4×200 free relay with Hungary and his third overall so far following his silver in the 100 free as David Popovici set the world record in the adjacent lane.

Noe Ponti of Switzerland took silver in 50.87 with Jakub Majerski of Poland third in 51.22.

Milak joined German duo Roger Pyttel and Michael Gross as well as Ukraine’s Andriy Serdinov and Yevgeny Korotyshkin on two titles with Lars Frolander still the only man to win three golds in the two-length event, the Swede having won in 1997, 1999 and 2000.

Given he’s 22, it’s a matter of when not if he moves alongside Frolander before surpassing him.

Milak won the world title at the Duna Arena in June although Dressel was absent that day, the American’s withdrawal a source of disappointment for Milak.

So too were there mixed feelings at the Foro Italico, Milak saying:

“I wanted to win this, but with a better time.

“I always want to go under 50sec which I was unable to do today. I want to improve all the time, want to do 49s all the time, this is my target, to get better every day, by every race.

“Honestly, I don’t have the same comfort in the 100m what I have in the 200m.

“Still, I swam 50.3 and I won the title so I should be happy obviously.”

Ponti, who won bronze in Tokyo, paid tribute to Stefano Nurra, the technical analyst who had worked with many swimmers and who died earlier in August.

He said:

“I’m very happy with this medal, the latest times have been difficult because of getting Covid.

“It took a lot of time to recover and I got bronchitis as well.

“I’m very happy and I want to dedicate this medal to Stefano Nurra, the coach who I was very close to and who worked with me very hard over the years.”

Results

  1. Kristof Milak (HUN); 50.33
  2. Noe Ponti (SUI); 50.87
  3. Jakub Majerski (POL); 51.22
  4. Hubert Kos (HUN); 51.33
  5. Simon Bucher (AUT); 51.44
  6. Matteo Rivolta (ITA); 51.68
  7. Nyls Korstanje (NED); 51.79
  8. Diogo Matos Ribeiro (POR); 52.28
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