Kristof Milak Pulls Out of Berlin World Cup, Hoping To Race In Budapest


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.

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This Guy
2 months ago

My guess is his mindset is to get to the Olympic Games, win a gold and solidify himself as one of the all time greats and then retire. If that is his only goal then training could be rough for a while because he is not mentally preparing for races in the near future. Just a thought I had

2 months ago

Has he stopped smoking like a chimney? That would be a good place to start.

Reply to  Aquajosh
2 months ago

was interested by this comment, haven’t found anything on this topic at all though. can you elaborate or point to where I can read up on Milak smoking while being a pro swimmer? thatd be quite a story if that is what it is

2 months ago

He’s only back to training for less than a month, it’s very understandable he’s not in the shape to be able to race at high level. I won’t rush to conclusion yet, only time will tell whether his comeback works out.

This Guy
Reply to  rhode
2 months ago

He probably saw how Dressel looked coming back, props for doing it but it wasn’t the easiest to watch. Maybe he wants to give himself a little more time to be able to cruise to victories rather than fight for podiums

Viking Steve
2 months ago

Getting to the top is rarified air, but staying at the top is what makes legends… especially in a grueling sport like swimming.

We need to collectively appreciate, and not take for granted, the sustained greatness that we see in the select few.

(Sjostrom and Ledecky… two for the ages… )

Reply to  Viking Steve
2 months ago

Add Ryan Murphy to that short list.

Reply to  Viking Steve
2 months ago

Also want to mention Phelps. It looks like he won gold in major international meets for every year between 2001 and 2012, plus 2014 and 2016.

2 months ago

No one knows how deep or wide the problems are that he’s facing — that much seems clear.
As an athlete of exceptional talent, hopefully everyone wishes him well.
Hope to see him in Paris 2024, but I fear that the problems may be quite deep.

Fukuoka Gold
2 months ago

I’m hoping he gets back to form

2 months ago

Yall really thought huh

2 months ago

Hope he gets back to form soon!!! Miss seeing that fly stroke!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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