Kristof Milak Slaughters Phelps’ 200 Fly World Record In 1:50.73

2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

After cruising to a very fast time of 1:52.96 in the semi-finals, Hungarian Kristof Milak absolutely smashed the 10-year-old world record in the final of the men’s 200 fly, touching in a time of 1:50.73.

The swim breaks the previous record held by the great Michael Phelps, who went 1:51.51 at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. That swim came during the super-suit era, and since then, Milak’s 1:52.71 from last year came closest to it.

SPLIT COMPARISON

In terms of splitting, the 19-year-old newly minted world record holder matched Phelps identically on the first 100. He gained a full 0.78 on the back half.

Phelps, 2009 Milak, 2019
24.76 24.66
52.88 (28.12) 52.88 (28.22)
1:21.93 (29.05) 1:21.57 (28.69)
1:51.51 (29.58) 1:50.73 (29.16)

Prior to this historic performance, Phelps owned the four-fastest swims in history.

ALL-TIME PERFORMANCES, MEN’S 200 FLY

  1. Kristof Milak (HUN), 1:50.73 – 2019
  2. Michael Phelps (USA), 1:51.51 – 2009
  3. Michael Phelps (USA), 1:52.03 – 2008
  4. Michael Phelps (USA), 1:52.09 – 2007
  5. Michael Phelps (USA), 1:52.20 – 2008

After the semi-finals, we alluded to the fact that this type of swim from Milak was possible, and that he had a great shot to break the record if he was more aggressive than in the semis. He did just that.

This ends Phelps’ historic reign over the world record in this race, first having set it over 18 years ago (March of 2001). Once he broke it, no one stole it from him until today. He also broke the record 18 years to the day for the second time at the 2001 Worlds in Fukuoka, where he went 1:54.58 (the initial record was 1:54.92).

WORLD RECORD PROGRESSION (SINCE 2000)

Chad Le Clos went out like a bullet in the race, leading Milak at the 100 wall in 52.55. He faded down the stretch, and Daiya Seto of Japan moved up to claim silver in 1:53.86, over three seconds back of Milak. Le Clos held on for bronze (1:54.15), while Federico Burdisso set a new Italian Record in fourth (1:54.39).

Milak’s 3.13-second margin of victory also overtakes Phelps for the largest in history. At the 2007 Championships in Melbourne, Phelps won by 3.04 seconds in 1:52.09 (which broke the WR by 1.62 seconds).

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Ytho
2 years ago

Tears of joy. The best! Thanks Kristóf, I am beyond speechless.

Peter
2 years ago

WOW!!!

Mr Piano
2 years ago

“Records are made to be broken” – The GOAT

TommyG
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

sort of

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

Men’s 800 free WR and Women’s 200 fly WR respectfully disagree

camelboar
2 years ago

Good Lord.

Tm71
2 years ago

He came back in 57.85 ! Even 59 is great but under 58 ?

Doug
2 years ago

Most impressive textile swim in history.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

Even better than Agnel’s 1:43.14? No one has come close to that.

Doug
Reply to  Philip Johnson
2 years ago

That Agnel swim certainly deserves consideration. That’d have been my answer before today.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Philip Johnson
2 years ago

Phelps was 1:52.09 in a textile jammer (albeit a FS 2 pro, which is an awful suit by today’s standards), and Cseh/ale Clos were 1:52.9, Matsuda was 1:53.2. Kenderisi made all of them look like kids with his 1:50

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

Kenderesi???????

McGill Rocks
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

KENDERESI????????????????????????????????????????????? MILAK! MILAK! MILAK!

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Mr Piano
2 years ago

Kenderasi should have been swimming with the kids with that 1:59. That’s a good sectionals time.

BRONK27
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

He is injured…

Caleb
Reply to  Philip Johnson
2 years ago

Adam peaty?

Jred
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

Peaty has like 3 seperate swims as impressive as this or more so.

Hmmmm
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

he beat the wr by .78

peaty by almost 2 seconds

🤔🤔

very impressive, but I’ll take that 56 any day

MTK
Reply to  Hmmmm
2 years ago

I think the 56.88 and 1:50.73 are similar calibre swims. Peaty has broken the 100br WR by 1.58 since 2015, compared to Milak just breaking 200fly by 0.78, BUT: the 100br WR at 58.46 was not even close to as illusive and untouchable seeming as Phelps 1:51.51. That’s why you can’t just look at the time gaps – Phelps’ 200fl WR was MUCH stronger than Van der Burgh’s 100br WR.

CB9
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

But it’s breaststroke 🙊 come at me!

jd14
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

Hossuz’s 4:26 400im?

Broken Boi
Reply to  jd14
2 years ago

I respect that swim a lot, but women’s suits are just far closer to the rubber suits than men’s (way more material, very bouyant), which makes me put that behind peaty, angel, and now milak.

mcgillrocks
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

Peaty 56.88?

USA
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

Any of Ledecky’s records?

leogeo
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

Thorpe 2002 3:40.08 was so ahead of its time

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

Phenomenal, no doubt, but how can Peaty not be it?

v swammer
Reply to  Doug
2 years ago

I think we all forget how fast peatys 100 br is, hes over a second faster than anyone ever in a 100, thats better than this swim but its become expected from him. Also, thorpes 400 fr is in the conversation

Ryan
2 years ago

Now that was by far the most impressive swim I’ve ever seen. I kinda just sat there wondering what had just happened.

Jred
Reply to  Ryan
2 years ago

People have short memories.

Peaty 57.9 is as impressive.

57.1 and 56.8 are more so.

Attis
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

A huge Peaty fan detected 😀

Jred
Reply to  Attis
2 years ago

The closest ever other swimmer to Peaty:

~1.5 seconds

Closest to Milak:

~0.7.

Milaks race is twice as long.

This isn’t close

Sheen
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

Yeah but the closest to Milak is the greatest swimmer of all time. Not a great comparison. Would Peaty be less impressive if there was a guy who went 57.5 10 years ago in 2009? “time to second best” is subjective to who swims your event. Not the only thing that should be considered imo.

Jred
Reply to  Sheen
2 years ago

Kitajima is the greatest breaststroker of all time. He was swimming great in 08.

He is over 2 full seconds behind.

Every world record is held by someone who was great at THAT event.

Phelps versatility is what makes him the greatest of all time, it doesn’t make his individual events better. Infact it probably made them worse due to how heavy his programs were.

Sheen
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

I get it, Peaty is next level. I just think it’s a hard comparison to make. I appreciate both WRs!

Brownish
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

Gyurta?

Tim
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

Kitajima was great but Breaststroke has changed beyond recognition. Also Kitajima was definitely a better 200 guy.

Attis
Reply to  Sheen
2 years ago

There you go JRED

Brownish
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

Sure, but noone is close who’s swimming today.

mcgillrocks
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

How about let’s consider the distance to the bronze medals:

Milak 200 fly final: 1:50.73 — 1:54.15 = 3.42 sec –> 3.089%

Peaty 100 breast final: 57.14 — 58.63 = 1.49 –> 2.607%

Peaty 100 breast final time: 56.88 — 58.63 = 3.076%

Using project 56, they’re pretty darn even. One of them was definitely WAYYY more unexpected.

eagleswim
Reply to  mcgillrocks
2 years ago

why would we consider the distance to the bronze medals? that seems pretty arbitrary…

Sheen
Reply to  eagleswim
2 years ago

all of these comparisons are arbitrary. that’s what I’m saying

mcgillrocks
Reply to  eagleswim
2 years ago

Distance to silver works too. The problem is sometimes the second place person is really good. Ledecky’s 200 free in 2016 or Lochte’s 200 IM in 2011 shouldn’t be discounted because those were true heavyweight battles where the silver medalist was a legendary swimmer having a personal best.

I choose bronze because it’s a little farther back, and so less likely to be offset by a second great swimmer. Sure, it’s possible that there could be a true, genuine 3-way dogfight for the gold (and so there are merits to 4th place too). But the chances of having so many legendary swims in 1 event are low, and if you try and claim that 3rd place, 4th place and… Read more »

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  mcgillrocks
2 years ago

Using that, Ledecky’s 1500 at 2015 WCs was better than all of them. She had that differential to the silver medal.

mcgillrocks
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Not really though. She won by 15 seconds and beat out bronze by 23 seconds. Out of 15:25, 23 seconds is 2.49%.

Ytho
Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

It is impossoble to compare the two. Going under 1.53,5 in the recent 10 years meant gold or near gold medal. He just went faster by almost 3 secs. Phelps WR was so absurd that even he couldnt get close to it after 2009.
Phelps set the bar with that record very high, and Milak finally smashed it.
Peaty is now in the process of setting unbreakable records. Imagine, if 10 years from now, someone breaks his records by 0.7, and goes 56.1. I treat Milak’s swim on the same level.

Brownish
Reply to  Ytho
2 years ago

Think the same.

Guy
2 years ago

Holy $h%#

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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