World Championships: Kristof Milak on Course for Butterfly Double

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

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World Championships: Kristof Milak on Course for Butterfly Double

A butterflying Kristof Milak is a thing of beauty. It also may be a well-night unbeatable site for his rivals in Budapest.

Milak lowered his world-best time in 2022 by winning the semifinals of the 100 butterfly at the 2022 FINA World Championships, bossing the second heat in 50.14 seconds. Milak is the top seed by three-quarters of a second in Friday’s final, with only one swimmer within a second of the Hungarian. He’ll be looking to complete the butterfly double, after man-handling the 200 fly field, and possibly taking down Caeleb Dressel’s world record of 49.45 seconds from the Tokyo Olympics.

Some of the steam is taken out of this race with Dressel’s absence, for medical reasons. Add in the eliminate of Kyle Chalmers in prelims and the withdrawal of Chad le Clos, and the final will feature just two holdovers from the last Worlds in 2019. Then, Milak finished fourth and Matthew Temple was sixth. (Also missing is 2019 silver medalist Andrey Minakov of Russia.)

Milak won silver in Tokyo in a European record of 49.68. With the meet record at 49.50, Friday’s final might be a question of how many records Milak can collect.

A relatively slow first heat included four swimmers within a tenth and a pair of Brits tied for fifth at 51.50 (that pair, including James Guy, ended up 11th). Joshua Liendo got his hand to the wall first in 51.14. Temple and Jakub Majerski, who tied for fifth at the Olympics last year, tied for sixth in semis at 51.24 from the first heat.

The second heat supplied the top two finishers, with Japan’s Naoki Mizunuma second in 50.81. Also qualifying for the final is Olympic bronze medalist Noe Ponti of Switzerland in fourth in 51.18 and Simon Bucher of Austria in fifth.

The eighth and final finals spot went to Michael Andrew, who took the race out well but admittedly died a little coming back. He still held on in 51.28, .13 up on Dutchman Nyls Korstanje in the outside lane of Heat 2.

Both Liendo and Andrew face the daunting 100 fly/50 free double. Their rest times were roughly equivalent, with Liendo in the first heat of both races and Andrew the second heat of both.


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