2022 European Championships: Milak Is The Man To Beat In 100/200 Butterfly

2022 EUROPEAN AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

As far as the men’s butterfly events are concerned at these 2022 European Championships, we know that the podiums will look different at least in the 50m and 100m distances.

Last year we saw Russia’s Andrey Zhilkin nab bronze in the men’s 50m fly while Great Britain’s James Guy scored bronze in the 100m fly. With Russia banned from this year’s Euros and with Guy opting out of the competition, let’s examine who the podium contenders are across the butterfly board this time around.

MEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY

  • World Record: 22.27, Andrii Govorov (UKR) – 2018
  • European Record: 22.27, Andrii Govorov(UKR) – 2018
  • European Championship Record: 22.48, Andrii Govorov (UKR) – 2018
  • 2020 European Champion: Szebszatian Szabo (HUN), 23.00

Ukraine’s world record holder Andrii Govorov is indeed among the field in this men’s 50m fly, which means we could see the 30-year-old pull out all the stops in his quest to reclaim the European Championship titles he won in both 2016 and 2018.

Govorov, who was downgraded to silver at this competition last year, has changed up his training quite a bit over the past few years, moving from Germany to ultimately Hawaii. The father of one finished well out of the 50m fly final at this year’s World Championships, settling for 15th in Budapest.

The reigning long course world record holder is looking to rebound but will need to break through the likes of Ben Proud (GBR), Thomas Ceccon (ITA) and Szebasztian Szabo (HUN).

Proud is carrying momentum from this year’s Commonwealth Games where the 27-year-old took the 50m free and 50m fly titles, the latter of which was earned in a time of 22.81.

For Ceccon’s part, the Italian clocked a new national record of 22.79 before ultimately placing 5th in Budapest with a final mark of 22.86.

Finally, Szabo, who owns the short course world record along with Brazil’s Nicholas Santos, is hungry for a medal after falling just .22 off the podium in Budapest at this year’s World Championships.

SwimSwam Picks

RANK SWIMMER COUNTRY SEASON-BEST LIFETIME BEST
1 Ben Proud GBR 22.76 22.75
2 Thomas Ceccon ITA 22.79 22.79
3 Szebasztian Szabo HUN 22.91 22.90
4 Noe Ponti SUI 23.04 23.04
5 Andrii Govorov UKR 23.31 22.27

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY

  • World Record: 49.50, Caeleb Dressel (USA) – 2019
  • European Record: 49.68, Kristof Milak (HUN) – 2022
  • European Championship Record: 50.18, Kristof Milak (HUN) – 2021
  • 2020 European Champion: Kristof Milak (HUN), 50.18

Hungary’s Kristof Milak is the only man among the 100m butterfly field here in Rome who has broken the 51-second threshold this season. The 22-year-old ripped a time of 50.14 en route to grabbing gold in the event at this year’s World Championships, pairing it with his 200m butterfly title there to reign as butterfly king.

With Milak as the dominant front runner, the race looks to be for the silver and bronze once the athletes leave the blocks for the 1fly.

Bulgaria’s Josif Miladinov took silver behind Milak at last year’s edition of these European Championships in a speedy 50.93, although the 19-year-old has been a little under the radar since then.

He did not compete at this year’s World Championships and his fastest time of the season rests at just the 52.59 he clocked for runner-up status at the Swiss Championships this past March.

Ahead of Miladinov in that race in Switzerland was Noe Pontithe surprise bronze medalist in this 100m fly in Tokyo.

Ponti (SUI) has been on-fire after making his mark at the Olympics, following his 50.74 national record up with additional impressive performances including a 51.24 last December and 51.17 in this year’s World Championships final.

Also inserting themselves into the 1fly podium conversation for Euros are Austria’s Simon Bucher and Poland’s Jakub Majerski, both of whom have been 51-low and will be in the hunt.

But we also cannot count out Italy’s most electric swimmer in Ceccon. As we mentioned, the mustachioed 21-year-old has been on fire across a number of events, including this 100m fly. He registered a time of 51.38 just this past July, a result which rendered him Italy’s 2nd fastest man ever in the event.

SwimSwam Picks

RANK SWIMMER COUNTRY SEASON-BEST LIFETIME BEST
1 Kristof Milak HUN 50.14 49.68
2 Noe Ponti SUI 51.17 50.74
3 Jakub Majerski POL 51.24 50.92
4 Thomas Ceccon ITA 51.38 51.38
5 Simon Bucher AUT 51.18 51.18

MEN’S 200 BUTTERFLY

When it comes to the men’s 200m butterfly, Milak stands utterly alone atop the list of potential medal contenders.

At this year’s World Championships, Milak lowered his own World Record in the event to a staggering 1:50.34. That remarkable performance opened swim enthusiasts’ eyes to the fact that a sub-1:50 may indeed be possible from the Hungarian who makes swimming this grueling event look so effortless.

Barring a false start or other curveball disqualification, Milak is a shoo-in for the gold, which means we then look at who may join the reigning Olympic and World champion on the podium.

We mentioned above that Swiss swimmer Ponti has been consistent with his world-class performances, including putting up a time of 1:54.29 to place 4th in this event in Budapest.

Also making the World Championships final among this field was Milak’s partner-in-200 fly-crime Tamas Kenderesi. The 25-year-old 200m fly Olympic bronze medalist from Rio is another reliable finalist, placing 4th last year in Tokyo, 3rd at last year’s European Championships and 6th in Budapest.

Then there’s an Italian duo in Federico Burdisso and Alberto Razzetti, with both owning sub-1:55 best times and will be fueled by a potential home crowd advantage.

Although the former somewhat surprisingly took Olympic bronze last year in Tokyo in 1:54.45, he’s been even faster this year with a new national record of 1:54.28.

As for Razzetti, he owns a PB of 1:54.87 from the semi-final of this event in Budapest, although he wound up slower in 1:55.52 to ultimately placed 7th.

Coming in hot from the European Junior Championships is Poland’s 18-year-old Krzysztof Chmielewski. There in Bucharest, Romania, Chmielewski successfully defended his 200m fly title, this year putting up a super solid effort of 1:55.49.

Prior to that, he logged a quicker 1:55.01 in the semi-finals of this event in Budapest which landed him as the 9th place finisher.

SwimSwam Picks

RANK SWIMMER COUNTRY SEASON-BEST LIFETIME BEST
1 Kristof Milak HUN 1:50.34 1:50.34
2 Noe Ponti SUI 1:54.20 1:54.20
3 Federico Burdisso ITA 1:54.28 1:54.28
4 Tamas Kenderesi HUN 1:54.79 1:53.42
5 Alberto Razzetti ITA 1:54.87 1:54.87

 

 

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Jamesabc
1 month ago

Today I learned that Dressel doesn’t hold the 50 fly world record. I kind of just assumed.

Kristof Milak fan page twitter
1 month ago

100 fly ER is 49.68 ^^ Championship meet record is 50.18

NathenDrake
1 month ago

Hopefully Kós will have a PB in 100 butterfly. Not a darkhorse caliber, but had some promissing swims in this event in the last two hungarion nationals.

Kim
1 month ago

Dear Swimswam, Tamas Kenderesi will not swim in Rome, he is resting back home in Hungary due to an injured shoulder. He hopes to be back in training in September.

fred
1 month ago

Ceccon is not entered in the 100 fly

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