Kristof Milak Withdraws from World Championships Citing Mental, Physical Health

MILAK Kristof HUN 200m Butterfly Men Semifinal Swimming FINA 19th World Championships Budapest 2022 Budapest, Duna Arena 20/06/22 Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Kristof Milak: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Olympic champion Kristof Milak of Hungary has pulled out of the upcoming World Championships, citing mental health and physical exhaustion.

“I took a decision with a really heavy heart, and I wish to share it with everyone who loves swimming and supported me and my team-mates during all the years. I will not take part at the World Championships this July in Fukuoka – even if I loved to maintain my winning run started back in 2016, I’m not on the level either physically or mentally to race against the worlds’ best swimmers,” Kristof Milak said. “I’m still trying to find a satisfying answer why this had to happen – still, I know myself well enough to be aware that I’m not even close to my top shape, those 100% which is required to reach the top and I’m not the one who would be consent with anything less.”

Milak, the defending world champion in the 100 and 200 butterfly events, said he hopes this decision will help him in the future.

“Now I’ve hit the rock-bottom, but I have to emphasize that this does not come with any worries from my side. I’ve accepted this, and I honestly hope that everyone else can also do that. To see that any athlete can face a period like this in his career, when you need to step back, recharge the batteries in order to be ready for the next challenges,” Kristof Milak said. “While I’m still be available for any administrative and other obligations top athletes may have, now I’m facing a new task – to devote this summer to quality and well-thought relaxation. This way I can restart my trainings and the competitions with a lot more energy, with a much better approach, so I can reach the level I’ve used to have.”

He has received support from his coaches and teammates, something that helped him make the decision, and plans to return to competition when he is ready.

“Let me add that everyone around me, including my coaches Balazs Virth and Gyorgy Zala, as well as the leaders of the Hungarian Swimming Federation and my club Honved Budapest gave me tremendous support to let me leave all this behind the fastest possible and get ready for the Fukuoka Worlds,” Kristof Milak said. “I’m really grateful for their efforts and I’m terribly sorry that I cannot be in the competition pool this summer. I thank for the swimming community, for the Honved Family, for my sponsors and my fantastic fans for their understanding and support.

“Don’t be afraid – I’ll be back soon!”

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