There are plenty of things that can go wrong just before an Olympic race — and unfortunately, Hungarian swimmer Kristof Milak had a near worst-case scenario when his trunks ripped 10 minutes before his event. According to Milak, it’s the exact reason why he didn’t set a world record in the 200m butterfly.
“They split 10 minutes before I entered the pool and in that moment I knew the world record was gone. I lost my focus and knew I couldn’t do it,” Milak said in a press conference afterwards. “It was a problem for me. I have a routine, a rhythm, a focus. This broke my focus and that problem impacted my time.”
Even so, that time was still an Olympic record, shattering Michael Phelps’ 13-year claim on the event. Milak finished the race with a time of 1:51.25 — more than two full seconds ahead of Japan’s Tomoru Honda — and earned himself and Hungary a gold medal in the event. Though MIlak is proud of his medal, he admitted that it wasn’t the overall goal.
“I wasn’t swimming for the medal, I was swimming for the time,” Milak added. “I said earlier I wanted a personal best. And my personal best is a world record.”
Indeed, Milak’s personal best time in the event is faster: 1:50.73. He set the time in July 2019 at the World Championships.
Milak’s reaction to winning the gold quickly got memed online after the event, with many poking fun at how serious he looked for having just won one of the highest honors in the world.