Hungarian Coach Worried About Kristof Milak: ‘He Hasn’t Done Any Meaningful Work in Months’

Hungarian national team coach Csaba Sos is getting worried about world record holder Kristof Milak‘s physical conditioning as the 23-year-old butterfly specialist reportedly still has not returned to regular training.

Milak withdrew from the 2023 World Championships due to mental and physical fatigue, but he reportedly returned to training in September and was slated to return to competition at October’s World Cup stop in Budapest. However, he pulled out of the meet just a few days before it began with his trainer, Balazs Virth, saying he wasn’t in shape yet.


Earlier this month, Sos reportedly said that Milak had not resumed pool training and was still training on land. The plan apparently is for Milak to return to his regular training routine in January, but Sos has not spoken with him for a long time.

“He hasn’t done any meaningful work for months,” Sos told Sportradio on Tuesday, translated from Hungarian. “Kristof said earlier that he thinks that if he starts working hard from January, we can have everything we want. So now we are waiting for the beginning of January.

“Even if he returns, it is certain that Paris will not be as it could have been, since what he could have swum if he started working in September, he will not be able to produce at the Olympics,” Sos added. “It is another question that if such a God-given talent really starts working in January, and from then on until the Olympics, he may even win — but it will be far from what it could have been.”

While Sos said it’s possible for Milak to still make a comeback in time for Paris 2024 and defend his Olympic title in the 200 fly, he emphasized that it will be no easy feat after about six months out of the water.

“If someone breaks their leg and the cast is removed after healing, their leg will be thinner, as the muscles have not been able to work until then,” Sos said. “Stamina starts to wear off after eight or ten days, and Kristof missed half a year. I would add to this that water is a special medium, staying in it and providing peak performance in it is a complicated, complex thing.”

As to the reason for Milak’s extended absence, Sos said he remains in the dark. When Milak pulled out of Worlds in June, he said that he had “hit rock bottom.” Sos said he didn’t it coming at all.

“My basic condition in the Milak case is incomprehension,” Sos said. “I don’t know what is happening to him, and not only me, neither do others. Because you have to do something when you’re not swimming. Something must be more important in his life than swimming.

“There was no indication that he was so burned out, that he might be depressed,” Sos added. “Certainly not for me. I am waiting for him to return, and I hope he will return, because I am certain that there is no other place where the Good Lord would have given him so many talents and abilities. I miss Kristof very much, it was a pleasure to see him swim. The picture doesn’t add up for me either, because anyone show me a single moment from the last few years when they saw this guy sway — immovable rock he was, he seemed like that, he never felt pain, even though he felt it, but how much he felt it. I am preparing for his return. I don’t know when that will be. I understand that everyone is turning back to Paris and January, but I emphasize that great Olympic success is no longer a reality.”

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5 months ago

This article makes me think his coaches think he’s actually got a 1:48 in the 200fly if he cared

Mr Piano
Reply to  John26
5 months ago

I see way too many people pushing the idea of 1:48 out there. Getting the sub 1:50 alone would be a herculean and historic feat.

Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Right? It’s like when Rowdy Gaines expressed verbal disappointment that Dressel only went :39 in the 100 free. It’s like, can we as a sport go back to thinking any new world record is a good time lol?

Marc P
Reply to  Jack
5 months ago

Rowdy is a joke.

He’s only entertaining in Olympics tv coverage to general public who know nothing about swimming.

Reply to  Marc P
5 months ago

This ^^^^

5 months ago

Some clarifications. Csaba Sos (as written in the article) is the head coach of Hungarian Swimming, while Milak’s coach is Balazs Virth. Milak started swimming at 6 and since 2014 (he was 14) trained under his historic coach Attila Selmeci: 10 sessions per week and great improvements, especially in the 200 fly, showed by his 1.56.77 at 16 and 1.52.71 at 17. The relationship between Milak and Selmeci was similar to the famous Phelps-Bowman, with bore due to the training routine besides the great accomplishments, but while Phelps continued with Bowman till the end of his career, Milak, after Tokyo Olympics, decided to change coach, from Selmeci to Virth. The training shift looked a fairly good move in the 2022,… Read more »

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
5 months ago

This could be a great WWE storyline if he is training in some dungeon totally off the radar.

I’d love to see him rerun heel. With a great coach/manager. Thinking this is how Teri M makes her return.

Reply to  Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
5 months ago

Shane Tusup worked well with one Hungarian swimmer just saying

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Facts
5 months ago

so your suggestion is for milak to marry shane tusup?

Marc P
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
5 months ago

It’s worth a try

Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
5 months ago

Shane enjoys playing the long game so not out of the question for him

Mr Piano
5 months ago

This sounds exactly what Phelps was doing in the years between 2008 and 2012, his heart wasn’t in it, and Bowman implied that he told him that he thought he could work hard for a few months and still be able to “turn it on” when he needed to. We all know how that 200 fly in London turned out 🥶.

I hope Milak does what’s best for him, whether means staying out longer until he feels the passion and drive come back to him, or going all in to salvage what he can for Paris.

Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

We’re out here acting like a 1:53 low getting out touched by a hair was some sort of disaster lmao

Reply to  Hegetisitsoneagain
5 months ago

Well and he didn’t even podium in the 4IM. The lack of prep definitely showed

Reply to  Owlmando
5 months ago

yea but he also had a bad race in the 400 IM. he was way faster at trials

Outside Smoke
Reply to  maheny
5 months ago

That race was such an anomaly. 4:07 when he
was significantly faster in all of his other events in London. He was also out of the water for weeks at a time heading into trials.

Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

He won 4 golds. The most any athlete in any sport won at those games? 4. The most anyone won at Sydney? 3. The most anyone won at Atlanta? 4.

To find someone who won more in any sport, you have to go back to 1992. And to find a swimmer who won more you have to go back to 1988. I know 2012 was Michael Phelps’ weakest Games. But it’s real easy to forget that it was one of the greatest performances any athlete’s ever had at an Olympics. Hell, he was the most decorated athlete at London, just edging out the best Olympics Missy Franklin ever had.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jack
Marc P
5 months ago

He should have done what Cam McEvoy and Caleb Dressel has done:

Completely stopped swimming for 6 months or a year. Do whatever he wanted to do. Anything but swimming. And then come back training with renewed spirit.

Instead he was in the funk, training half hearted, even giving promise that he’d swim in the world cup etc

What a shame. He has so much talent.

Last edited 5 months ago by Marc P
5 months ago

He was never satisfied, he probably was unhappy with his 2022 world’s winning times. He has a lot of talent hopefully he gets the help needed to not hate the sport. His WR seems untouchable for now

5 months ago

This really makes me feel sorry for Milak, that his coach would talk about him this way so publicly. He has had some amazing accomplishments and if he doesn’t want to come back, that’s totally up to him.

Reply to  SwammerMom
5 months ago

Not his coach, the National coach

Wanna Sprite?
5 months ago

He should take a 1 year break after Paris and take his talents to ASU

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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