2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- All sports: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Pool swimming: Sunday, July 21 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- The Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, Korea
- Meet site
- Competition Schedule
- FinaTV Live Stream
- Entry Lists
Milak went 1:50.73, a whopping .78 under Phelps’ longstanding record of 1:51.51 from 2009. That swim came during the super-suit era, and since then, Milak’s 1:52.71 from last year had come closest to it.
Milak opened his race in the exact same 100 split Phelps did all those years ago: 52.88. But he closed in 57.85 (versus Phelps’ 58.63) to seal the record. Asked about the swim by The New York Times’ Karen Crouse, Phelps had nothing but praise for the 19-year-old.
“As frustrated as I am to see that record go down, I couldn’t be happier to see how he did it,” Phelps said. “That kid’s last 100 was incredible. He put together a great 200 fly from start to finish.”
The 23-time Olympic gold medalist went on to call Milak’s stroke “beautiful.”
“It happened because there was a kid who wanted to do it, who dreamed of doing it, who figured out what it would take to do it, who worked on his technique until it was beautiful and who put in the really, really hard work that it takes to do it,” he said. “My hat’s off to him.”
After winning gold by over two seconds ahead of Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:53.86), Milak said he wasn’t “expecting” the record, but “was prepared for it.” He added that he noticed bronze medalist and 2012 200 fly Olympic champion Chad le Clos with him two lanes over at the 100-mark, but then honed in on his own race. “But once I did my dolphin kicks, I started to focus solely on myself,” Milak told the Times through an interpreter. “I didn’t think of anything else, just my rhythm that I practice in training.”