2023 WORLD AQUATICS SWIMMING WORLD CUP – BERLIN
After previously being announced as one of the stars racing all three legs of the 2023 World Cup, Kristof Milak has pulled out of the opening stop in Berlin.
Milak, who only recently made his return to heavy training after withdrawing from the 2023 World Championships due to mental and physical fatigue, was among the initial ‘Elite 11’ swimmers racing the entire circuit revealed by World Aquatics at the beginning of September, but has hit a blip and is now not expected to race in either of the first two legs.
A source told SwimSwam that things haven’t gone as smoothly as Milak might’ve hoped in his return to training, and as of now, he’ll only race in the third and final stop of the series in his hometown of Budapest.
The circuit is set to get underway in nine days in Berlin, and the series will shift to Athens the following week before wrapping up in Budapest, October 20-22.
2023 Swimming World Cup Series
- October 6-8: Berlin, Germany
- October 13-15: Athens, Greece
- October 20-22: Budapest, Hungary
Milak swept the men’s 100 and 200 butterfly events at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, breaking his own world record in the latter in what was a memorable performance in front of his home fans in Hungary.
Penciled in as the clear-cut favorite to defend his titles in both races earlier this year in Fukuoka, the 23-year-old surprisingly withdrew from the 2023 Worlds, saying that he was “not even close” to top form and vowed to make his way back in due time after a much-needed break.
Shortly after he was announced to be racing the World Cup, he made a statement, saying: “I needed a break but I feel now ready to go again with the same or even more steel will than ever before. Again I feel the hunger to show swimming feats that I have never done before. I started training again with double ambition, I programmed myself, I know that the first few weeks and months will hurt, but I chose this path and I will go through it – to Paris, and then further.”
In addition to his 2022 world titles in the 100 and 200 fly, Milak also won Olympic gold in Tokyo in the 200 fly, earned silver in the 100 fly, and also picked up a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships in the 100 fly as a 17-year-old. He is also a six-time European champion and four-time World Junior gold medalist.