Torn trunks drama as Hungary's Milak wins 200m butterfly gold

By: AFP      Published: 03:06 PM, 28 Jul, 2021
Torn trunks drama as Hungary's Milak wins 200m butterfly gold
Hungary's Kristof Milak competes in the final of the men's 200m butterfly swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on July 28, 2021. AFP

World record holder Kristof Milak powered to the Olympic men's 200m butterfly gold medal on Wednesday but complained a tear in his trunks cost him a new global mark.

The 21-year-old Hungarian, who smashed Michael Phelps's world record in 2019, hit the wall in a new Olympic record time of 1min 51.25sec.

It was more than two seconds clear of second-placed Tomoru Honda of Japan (1:53.73) and Italy's Federico Burdisso (1:54.45).

But Milak said his time could have been much better if his trunks had not ripped before the race, which he believed cost him another world record.

"They split 10 minutes before I entered the pool and in that moment I knew the world record was gone," he said after the race, angrily throwing the torn togs at a table.

"I lost my focus and knew I couldn't do it... but I am happy with the gold medal."

Milak came into the race with a personal best nearly two seconds ahead of anyone else, and winning gold appeared to be a mere formality.

He was always in charge, turning at the halfway mark with a comfortable lead and accelerating to the wall with a devastating turn of speed.

London 2012 champion Chad le Clos of South Africa finished fifth in what is likely to be his last Olympics.

Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi was fourth, narrowly missing out on a repeat of his bronze medal performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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