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Ripped Pants Cost Kristof Milak World Swimming Record

Credit: Unsplash

I’m going to try to get through this without making any SpongeBob references, but you know the one I’m thinking of.

When you rip your swim trunks at the beach or public pool, it tends to be a rather distressing event. Swim trunks are designed to hold their shape in a very particular way, so when they rip, the damage tends to start spreading quickly. It puts you in a bit of a wacky mental state, which, unfortunately, was the last thing Hungarian Olympic swimmer Kristof Milak needed right before he dove in for the 200-meter butterfly final.

“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 told BBC on Wednesday.

”It was a problem for me. I have a routine, a rhythm, a focus. This broke my focus and that problem impacted my time,” he explained. “I wasn’t swimming for the medal, I was swimming for the time,” he added. “I said earlier I wanted a personal best. And my personal best is a world record.”

The current world record for swimming, 1:50:73, which was set at the world championships in Gwangju, South Korea in 2019, actually belongs to Milak himself, but he was hoping to set a new one at the games. While Milak unfortunately missed out on the world record due to his wardrobe malfunction, though, he was by no means a failure in this event. Milak won the gold medal with a solid 2.5 second lead over the next swimmer behind him. His final time was 1:51:25, and while that’s not a world record, it is an Olympic record, beating out the swimming record of 1:52:03 set by Michael Phelps back in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


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