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Swimmer Says Ripped Trunks Cost Him World Record

But Kristof Milak easily won gold in men's 200m butterfly final
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2021 5:05 AM CDT
Updated Aug 1, 2021 6:00 PM CDT
Swimmer Says Ripped Trunks Cost Him World Record
Kristof Milak of Hungary rests after winning the men's 200-meter butterfly final at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.   (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

(Newser) – Kristof Milak was aiming for more than a gold medal in the men's 200 meters butterfly final—but he says he was let down by his own swimwear. The 21-year-old Hungarian champ says his trunks ripped around 10 minutes before the final, ruining his concentration, the BBC reports. With a time of 1:51.25, he won the gold medal and broke the Olympic record set by American Michael Phelps 13 years ago, but he was just over half a second short of breaking the world record he set two years ago. "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," he told reporters Wednesday. This was Milak's first Olympic medal, but he is expected to collect many more in his career, the New York Times reports.

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"It was a problem for me. I have a routine, a rhythm, a focus. This broke my focus and that problem impacted my time," Milak said. "I wasn't swimming for the medal, I was swimming for the time." Milak, who switched the damaged trunks for a spare just before the final, now has the top four career times in the 200m butterfly, reports Reuters. Phelps has the next three. He finished a full four meters ahead of silver medalist Tomoru Honda of Japan, but he became annoyed when reporters asked other competitors if they thought winning gold was impossible. "This is not respectful to the other swimmers," he said. "I want respect for all the competitors. Obviously, they're swimming for the gold." He said he plans to throw the ripped trunks away instead of keeping them as an Olympic souvenir.

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