From 2001 until his retirement in 2016, the 200 butterfly belonged to Michael Phelps. He first won the race (and set the world record) at age 15, and he shaved seconds off of his time no fewer than eight times over the span of his career. But all of that became history at the 2019 FINA World Swimming Championships on Wednesday after a Hungarian teen swimming phenom hit the pool.
Kristóf Milák, at 19 years old, took down Michael's record in emphatic fashion with a blazing time of 1:50.73 seconds. That's .78 seconds faster than Michael's best time, 1:51.51, set at the world championships 10 years ago. At that time, Kristóf was 9 years old. And — for those of you really doing the math — the first time Michael set the record, Kristóf was 1.
Though he trailed for the first half of the race, by the time Kristóf turned for the final lap, it was clear that his only real competition was the world record. Once he started streaking down the last 50 meters, even that was a goner. Michael's record went down and a new champion was crowned!