World champion, world record holder, and Olympic gold medalist Kristof Milak of Hungary has revealed he will be changing coaches as he begins to look ahead to Paris 2024.
“There are times in a person’s life when it comes time to switch. I owe only gratitude and thanks to Attila Selmeci. I wish him many more success in the future,” is what 21-year-old Milak posted on his social media account today, September 22nd.
Selmeci and Milak have been a coach/athlete duo for 8 years, a pairing which culminated in Milak’s clocking the long course 200 butterfly world record of 1:50.73 at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.
This past summer, Milak posted a winning effort of 1:51.25 to easily capture gold in the same event while he nailed a European record of 49.68 to nearly catch American Caeleb Dressel in the 100m fly there in Tokyo.
In an interview earlier this week Selmeci was candid about the change-up, saying that there was something lacking between the pair over the past 18 months.
Regarding Milak, “We worked together for eight years. Of these, we maintained a particularly good relationship with each other for six and a half years. In the last period, something in the field of trust has broken between us.”
In terms of what exactly changed, Selmeci pointed to the world record-setting event as a catalyst.
“Something has broken since his world championship victory, Michael Phelps ’world record, which he thought was unbreakable, has since changed, and since then, Kristof has changed.” (24.HUN)
Interestingly, the coach also described how the pair mutually agreed after the 2019 World Championships that they would continue their relationship only until the Tokyo Olympics after which they would part ways.
Milak has selected Balázs Virth as his new coach. Virth, a coach at the UTE Swimming Club in Hungary, has been on numerous Olympic coaching staffs and was the coach of Olympic champion Daniel Gyurta who took 200m breast gold at the 2012 Games in London.
Virth has also worked with Boglarka Kapas, the women’s 200m fly world champion from 2019.
Milak said of his change, “It is clear that so far I have achieved my successes with Attila Selmeci, and I thank him for that: it is indisputable that our joint work has been a professional success. But our human relationship is tired after eight years, as is the case with others in all walks of life.
“I felt it would be better for me to change, I could prepare myself more effectively, in a way that was more favorable to me.
I have thought a lot about who to pursue my career with, I have listened to the opinions of different people, I have examined the possible solutions in all aspects and perspectives, and I have chosen Balázs.
I am confident that we can work together effectively – in fact, I am confident in working together because I know the energy that the two of us have invested in this will pay off.
I chose Balázs because, on the one hand, I knew what results he had achieved with his students so far.” (RemoNews)