World Championships: Kristof Milak Eyeing World Record in 100 Butterfly


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World Championships: Kristof Milak Eyeing World Record in 100 Butterfly

An argument can be made that Kristof Milak has produced the premier performance of the World Championships to this point, his world record in the 200-meter butterfly a hard-to-believe effort. It was in his specialty event in which Milak clocked 1:50.34 to take almost a half-second off his own global standard from the 2019 campaign.

Now, we ask the question: Is Milak on the verge of setting another world record?

Heading into Friday night’s final of the 100 butterfly, the Hungarian looks untouchable and capable of threatening the world record in the event. Milak is the reigning Olympic silver medalist in the 100 fly, that piece of hardware earned via a European record of 49.68. The gold went to American Caeleb Dressel, who clocked 49.45 for the world record.

Based on how Milak has looked this week, it is not unreasonable to suggest Milak will challenge Dressel’s record. In addition to his mark in the 200 fly, Milak clocked 46.89 on the end of Hungary’s 400 freestyle relay and went 1:44.68 on the anchor leg of the 800 freestyle relay. Obviously, he is in peak form, and is also feeding off the home crowd in Budapest.

When Milak won silver at the Tokyo Games, he moved through the semifinals in 50.31, so his semifinal outing of 50.14 at the World Champs puts him ahead of pace. There’s little doubt Milak will easily dip under the 50-second threshold. Whether he can slice a little more than a half-second will determine if he drops another world record.

The missing element in the final is Dressel, who withdrew from the competition to address a medical condition. Without the American pressing the early pace and serving as a major obstacle, Milak will have to make a solo chase of the world record. It won’t be easy, but it’s doable.

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