When Kristóf Milák set a 200m butterfly world record in July 2019, it ended Michael Phelps’ 18-year reign at the helm of the event.
The Hungarian went 1:50.73 en-route to gold at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea to go well inside Phelps’ world mark of 1:51.51 from July 2009.
Phelps told the New York Times: “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.”
Milák became Olympic champion two years later in Tokyo while also winning silver in the 100m butterfly in a European record of 49.68.
Milák’s mother, a teacher, drove him 100-mile round trips to and from training while Attila Selmeci was also a mainstay of his youth, coaching him for eight years from the age of 13 but in September 2021, the swimmer announced he was switching to Balázs Virth.
Milák also welcomed the news that Budapest would host an “extraordinary” World Championships in 2022 after Fukuoka was pushed back a year.
He told FINA: “As I always say, the Duna Arena is my home. It’s my pool; number four is my lane; that is where I train and where I win races.
“I have only fond memories and it’s amazing that I can go for retaining my title from Gwangju in Budapest.”