22-Year-Old Pushes Michael Phelps Out of Top 5 Times of His Dominant Event

Published 06/22/2022, 9:15 AM EDT

The 19th FINA Swimming World Championships has brought in glorious moments. Katie Ledecky carried on with her gold medal routines, while Caeleb Dressel came up with convincing victories. However, there is one guy who is raising the roof in Hungary. While Michael Phelps is the Baltimore Bullet, Kristof Milak might soon be known as the Budapest Bullet.

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The 22-year-old swam to victory in the 200-meter butterfly event, setting a world time of 1:50.34. He now holds the top five fastest times in the 200-meter butterfly event that Phelps reigned supreme over the years. He is truly the new kid on the block. The potential is there for everyone to see, and this swimmer is probably here to stay. 

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An unbelievable achievement

Setting the world record for the 200-meter butterfly at the 2019 World Championships, Milak announced his arrival on the grandest stage. He set a time of 1:50.73 and broke Phelps’ 1:51.51 set at the 2009 Fina World Championships in Italy. After that world record swim, he fetched his first Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by winning a gold medal for the same event. He set 1:51.25, which became the new Olympic record. 

Since then, he didn’t look back. The hungry Hungarian set the five fastest times in the 200-meter butterfly and pushed Michael Phelps out of the top five. That is something that no one believed to happen. This dominance is similar to Britain’s swimmer Adam Peaty, who enjoys supremacy in breaststroke events. Hence, it is a unique achievement for the swimmer, who is also very versatile. Winning the gold medal for the 50-meter backstroke event at the World Cup in Budapest showcases his talent. 

He is also an able swimmer who takes part in freestyle events. Milak won the gold medal in 200 and 400-meter freestyle at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics. Just 22, the Hungarian has his eyes set on the 100-meter butterfly, where he would probably meet the talented Caeleb Dressel, although his appearance is in doubt. But one can say he is the rightful heir to Phelps’ throne in the butterfly event. 

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Does Michael Phelps hold any world records?

With the 200-meter butterfly record out of his bag, Phelps holds one sole individual record to his name, the 400-meter individual medley. Apart from this, he has two world records in team events for Team USA- the men’s 4×100 freestyle and the men’s 4×200 freestyle event. Remarkably, his 400-meters individual medley world record was under duress in this year’s Swimming World Championships. 

18 Sep 2000: Michael Phelps of the USA in action during the Mens 200m Butterfly Heats at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre on Day Three of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Ross Kinnaird /Allsport (Getty)

Coached by Phelps’ mentor, Bob Bowman, Leon Marchand set a time of 4:04.28, just short of Phelps’ 4:03.84. Thus, the new generation of swimming prodigies is coming closer to displacing Phelps’ name from the record books. It would probably be weird to see Phelps not having an individual world record, but the new wizards seem motivated to become the best. 

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DIVE DEEPER

15-Year-Old Nearly Touches Michael Phelps Two Decade Old Record at the US World Swimming Trials 2022

2 months ago

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Jacob Gijy

1316 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Post Graduation in Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the power forward, the respect he deserves.

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