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Teenager Kristof Milak breaks Michael Phelps’ world record in 200-meter butterfly

South Korea Swimming Worlds
Hungary’s Kristof Milak celebrates after setting a world record in the men’s 200-meter butterfly at the world swimming championships Wednesday in Gwangju, South Korea.
(Mark Schiefelbein / Associated Press)

Kristof Milak of Hungary won the 200-meter butterfly at the world swimming championships, breaking Michael Phelps’ 10-year-old world record by nearly eight-tenths of a second.

Milak touched in 1:50.73 to lower the mark of 1:51.51 that Phelps set at the 2009 worlds in Rome.

“When I turned back and saw the time, all the pressure, all the tension just got off my back and all the joys came out,” Milak said.

Phelps set the mark for the first time in 2001, and no one had taken it from him until Milak.

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“It is absolutely fantastic. After that swim I don’t think anybody can go close to him,” fellow Hungarian Laszlo Cseh said.

The 19-year-old swimmer became the first teenager to win a world title in the event since Phelps at age 18 in 2003.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Milak, who climbed out of the pool and took two deep bows as the crowd cheered.

Chad le Clos of South Africa was out under world-record pace through the first lap before Milak gained the lead after 150 meters.

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“Unbelievable race, really,” said Le Clos, an old rival of Phelps. “Probably one of the greatest races ever.”

Daiya Seto of Japan finished 3.13 seconds behind for silver in 1:53.86. Le Clos settled for bronze in 1:54.15.


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