WATCH: Kristof Milak Smashes Michael Phelps’ 200 Fly World Record In 1:50.73


Originally reported by Reid Carlson


  • World Record: Michael Phelps (United States), 2009, 1:51.51
  • World Junior Record: Kristof Milak (Hungary), 2017, 1:53.89
  • World Championships Record: Michael Phelps (United States), 2009, 1:51.51
  • 2017 Defending World Champion: Chad le Clos (South Africa), 1:53.33

Chad le Clos took the race out fast in a blazing 24.13, pursued by Milak. Le Clos was still under World Record pace at 100, turning in 52.55. Milak turned in 52.88 at the 100, matching Michael Phelps’ World Record split to the hundredth. Milak is ahead of World Record pace at 150, turning in 1:21.57, overtaking le Clos.

Milak buried the field and Phelps’ World Record to touch in an incredible 1:50.73. Milak is now the first swimmer in history to break the 1:51 barrier.

Japan’s Daiya Seto crushed his best time and slipped under 1:54 for the first time to win silver in 1:53.86, while Chad le Clos won bronze in 1:54.15, just ahead of young Italian Federico Burdisso, who touched 4th in 1:54.39.

Milak’s splits were 24.66, 28.22 (52.88), 28.69 (1:21.57), and 29.16 for a total time of 1:50.73. No other swimmer in the field cracked 30 on the final 50 meters with the second-fastest split being a 30.11 from Ukrain’s Denys Kesil who finished 5th in 1:54.79.

American Zach Harting finished 5th in 1:55.69. Brazilian Leonardo de Deus was 7th in 1:55.96, and Hungarian Tamas Kenderesi, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, finished 8th in 1:57.10.


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Michigan Alum
5 months ago

I never thought Phelps’ 2009 WR was that impressive. I can’t believe it took 10 years for it to be broken. Milak proved by breaking through not just 1:51 but 1:52 as well. It won’t be long before we see a sub 1:50.

Reply to  Michigan Alum
5 months ago

After some quick searching, I believe the best time since Phelps 2009 besides Milak is Seto from this year with his 1:52.5. I think that shows how impressive the WR was – no one else within a second until Milak. (Phelps and Cseh and le Clos went 1:52.9s since 2009).

Reply to  Michigan Alum
5 months ago

It doesn’t seem impressive because of the ridiculous standards that Phelps himself set. 1:52.0 first in a textile jammer then with his goggles filled with water is insane.

I believe there’s a photo somewhere of Phelps’ target times leading into Beijing (EDIT: Many of them he was close to/achieved (showing that they were realistic), and they included a 1:51 low for the 200 fly.

Reply to  Joe
5 months ago

also, i believe his beijing swim would have been faster if his goggles hadn’t filled up

Beach bum jason
Reply to  Michigan Alum
5 months ago

Yep not impressive. He just took over 6 months off after Beijing and did little training before 09 worlds and still did two world records. Yet not impressive 🤷🏼‍♂️

Reply to  Beach bum jason
5 months ago

The “non-impressive” part or to use a better word, the if only is imagine how fast he would have gone if he didn’t come of a 6month break and little training.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Michigan Alum
5 months ago

I agree, I often feel that WRs aren’t impressive. I mean, big deal. So it’s the fastest anyone has ever swam. 😂

Irish Ringer
5 months ago

It’s still hard for me to believe he swam a 1:50.73. All those years watching Phelps gradually lower that 200m fly record to 1:51.51 and to see Milak smash it like that at such a young age. That back half was insane.

Reply to  Irish Ringer
5 months ago

The craziest part is, he showed clear room for improvement. Milak’s last turn wasn’t all that great, yet he still dominated that last 50.

5 months ago

I remember a few weeks before the world championships, there was a series about “Which supersuited world records are most in danger?” There were 4 tiers, with 1 being most likely and 4 being least likely. 1:51.51 was in Tier 3. We weren’t expecting Milak to break it in 2019, maybe in 2020. Nothing like proving expectations wrong. And the “SS hype machine” article “Can Milak get the WR?” I doubted it at first, predicting 1:52 low, but he got it. I wonder where the SS hype machine went after just 2 articles.
Also, it’s not this race, but I remember the swim-off. “150 easy, 50 hard”. Both swimmers in the swim-off closed under 29. That was, well…weird.

Joe Loui
Reply to  swimfan210_
5 months ago

No expectations because he is not from the USA, his semifinal swim made it clear Phelps record was done

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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