World Championships: Kristof Milak Roars to Top Seed in Dressel-Free 100 Butterfly; Kyle Chalmers Eliminated

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

World Championships: Kristof Milak Roars to Top Seed in Dressel-Free 100 Butterfly

A world record and second consecutive title secured in the 200-meter butterfly, Hungarian star Kristof Milak started his chase for gold in the 100 butterfly on Thursday morning at the World Championships in Budapest. Milak, who earned silver in the event at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, touched the wall in 50.68 to nail down the top seed for the semifinals.

Milak is the No. 2 performer in history, thanks to the 49.68 European record he managed in Tokyo. Given his easy form in prelims, coupled with what he flashed in the 200 butterfly, Milak could challenge the world record of 49.45 when the final is held on Friday night.

The event, of course, unfolded without two-time defending champion Caeleb Dressel, the man who owns the world record. After capturing a pair of gold medals earlier in the meet, the American withdrew from the remainder of the competition to address a medical condition. USA Swimming, citing privacy laws, could not specify what Dressel is facing, but National Team Director Lindsay Mintenko noted the organization would fully support Dressel in his recovery.

Rising Canadian star Joshua Liendo was the only other athlete to crack the 51-second barrier during prelims, as he delivered a swim of 50.97. He was followed by Switzerland’s Noe Ponti, the bronze medalist in Tokyo. Ponti was timed in 51.17 and was followed by the duo of Austria’s Simon Bucher (51.18) and Japan’s Naoki Mizunuma (51.46).

Australian Kyle Chalmers, who will make the Commonwealth Games his focus meet of the summer, failed to advance out of the prelims of his lone individual event. Chalmers posted a time of 52.70, which slotted him 22nd in the morning. Chalmers made a late decision to attend the World Championships so he could contest the 100 butterfly, a race that was a familiar part of his program as a youth. Chalmers plans to pursue the event on the road to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.



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