SS HYPE MACHINE: Kristof Milak Did It Once, Can He Get the 100 FL World Record?


What if we told you that a 19-year-old Hungarian could defeat one of Michael Phelps‘ 2009 butterfly world records? You probably would think we’re crazy, but we told you on Tuesday that it was going to happen, and Kristof Milak made it happen as he dominated the 200 fly world record with a 1:50.73. What if we told you that he could do it again?

There have only been three swimmers in history to swim under 50 seconds in the 100 fly, Serbian Milorad Cavic (49.95) and Americans Caeleb Dressel (49.86) and current world record-holder Michael Phelps (49.82). Dressel’s 2017 World title time was just 0.04s off the 2009 WR, putting him on world record watch since that thrilling finals swim. Milak, however, ‘only’ has a lifetime best of 50.62, which set a new world junior record at the 2017 World Championships.

The split comparisons among the three swimmers are eerily similar, as all three have brought back the race in 26-mids. Both Dressel and Phelps took out their races in 23.3 while Milak cruised with a 23.8. With the splitting of the race, the average difference among the swimmers was 3.0867 seconds from their 50s.

Phelps 2009 WR Dressel 2017 Worlds Milak 2017 WJR
23.36 23.31 23.85
26.46 26.55 26.77
49.82 49.86 50.62

As mentioned before in the 200 fly outlook for Milak, the major difference from Milak and the world record is the first half of the race. In his 200 fly world record performance, Milak tied world record pace and continued to show endurance as he powered through the final 100.

From semifinals to finals of the 200 fly, Milak dropped 2.23 seconds to set his world record. The main difference that changed his race was the middle 100, where he took off 1.06s and 0.88s from his second and third 50 splits. As in the 100 fly, the middle 50 is a crucial leg of the race.

Milak’s fastest 50 fly is a 23.72 from the 2017 Junior World Championships. Just before the junior meet Milak swam his lifetime best 100 fly where he took the race out in a 23.85, roughly 0.13s slower than his fastest recorded 50 fly. It’s been 2 years since that swim, so Milak’s 50 fly could range anywhere faster than 23.7. In the event his first 50 is not to where Dressel/Phelps were, Milak could always bring it home in a 25, which neither of the two have done. Considering how consistent his last 150 of his world record 200 fly was (28.22, 28.69, 29.16), it shouldn’t be too much of an issue to slim down the split differences.

So, Kristof, if you’re reading this all you need to do is take the 100 fly out faster than normal and be able to hold onto that momentum into the final 50. Prelims and semifinals will be a great way to experiment with that strategy. Milak has proven once he can finish a butterfly race and take down a world record. With the distance cut in half, Milak has another opportunity to continue re-writing history.

The men’s 100 fly preliminaries will take place on Friday morning Gwangju time, Thursday evening US time.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

22 Comment threads
23 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
35 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Steve Nolan

Continuing a theme, this’ll be how Dressel continues not getting any WRs – he’ll go under, but Milak will beat him.
comment image


As the man who predicted his 40.00 a few years ago, I agree that this will happen.

It is foretold.

Mr Piano

Not if I have anything to say about it, and I do!

Steve Nolan

comment image


You are actually watching the races and not just trolling this site, right? He just had an amazing 100 free and then the inedible split in the medley relay. I hope you’re eating your words by the end of this week. Caeleb came fully prepared to win gold and break the WR.

Steve Nolan

Ok, what was Milak’s best 200 fly time coming into this meet? And now?

If he does something similar in the 100? 🤔


I heard Schooling went 1:50.72 in practice.

Sun Yang's Mom



And your name isnt?

49.33 split

The disrespect to Dressel in this post geez


The post, as its title indicates, is primarily about another swimmer’s potential to break the 100 fly WR. Disrespect to Dressel is not inherent in that.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro has had a huge passion for swimming since his first dive in the pool, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing, but still uses the sport as his go-to cardio. SwimSwam has become an outlet for him to continue showing his …

Read More »