2017 EUROPEAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
While competing at the 2017 European Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel, Hungarian teenager Kristof Milak absolutely crushed a new meet record, European Junior Record and World Junior Record all in one monster 200m butterfly final. Leading up to tonight’s swim, Milak, who is 17 years of age as of this meet, had previously posted speedy outings of 1:58.69 in prelims followed by a 1:56.69 mark in semi-finals to give us a hint of what was yet to come.
Tonight, Milak cranked out a wicked-fast time of 1:53.79 to easily win gold by about 5 solid seconds, while also surpassing the meet record mark of 1:55.82 held by Hungarian countryman Bence Biczo since 2010. Milak’s performance also checks-in as the new European Junior Record, having surpassed the target time of 1:54.79 set by the LEN at the establishment of this record category.
His time also surpassed the previous World Junior Record mark of 1:55.37 that’s only been on the books since April. Japan’s Nao Horomura clocked that time at the 2017 Japan Swim, splitting 54.94/1:00.43. Tonight’s splits for Milak consisted of an oppressive opening 100m of 53.24, followed by a solid 1:00.55 closing back-half.
Even among the record book-breaking accolades Milak just collected, perhaps the most impressive attribute his performance rendered was beating the time Michael Phelps produced back when he was just 17 years of age. At the 2002 U.S. Nationals, a 17-year-old Phelps clocked a 200m butterfly time of 1:54.86.
Additionally, at the 2003 World Championships when Phelps was 18 years of age, he owned the event in a time of 1:53.93, what many consider to be the ‘true’ World Junior Record. Milak just took over that important milestone with his eye-popping 1:53.79, becoming the fastest teen by .14.
Milak now ranks as the 2nd fastest man in the world in the event this season, sitting mere hundredths behind Olympic silver medalist Masato Sakai of Japan.