'Star is born': Teenager shocks swimming with 'unbelievable' world record

Hungarian teenager Kristof Milak has shocked the swimming community by breaking Michael Phelps’ world record in the 200m butterfly.

Milak won gold in a time of 1:50.73 at the world swimming titles in South Korea on Wednesday night, lopping 0.78 seconds off Phelps' 1:51.51 set in Rome in 2009.

“What a stunning performance,” one commentator exclaimed. “Unbelievable.”

Malik wasn’t even a butterfier as a youngster.

"It's a tremendous honour to set such a great record," he said.

Kristof Milak celebrates his incredible world record in the 200m butterfly. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Kristof Milak celebrates his incredible world record. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

"Until 14 I was a backstroker and later I focused on the butterfly.

“But earlier I only did 100 metres because I wasn't strong enough."

There can be no question about his strength now.

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At 19, Milak is the youngest winner of the 200m butterfly since Phelps triumphed as an 18-year-old in 2003, the second of the American great's five world titles in the event.

"When I turned back and saw the time, all the pressure, all the tension just got off my back and all the joys came out," Milak said.

Daiya Seto, Kristof Milak and Chad le Clos with their medals after the 200m butterfly final. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Daiya Seto, Kristof Milak and Chad le Clos with their medals. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Chad le Clos of South Africa was out under world-record pace through the first lap before Milak gained the lead after 150 metres.

"Unbelievable race, really," said Le Clos, an old rival of Phelps.

"Probably one of the greatest races ever."

Daiya Seto of Japan finished 3.13 seconds behind for silver in 1:53.86. Le Clos settled for bronze in 1:54.15.

Gold and silver for Aussie girls

Elsewhere, Italian Federica Pellegrini retained her 200m freestyle title in 1:54.22, while Britain's Adam Peaty completed an unprecedented hat-trick of world doubles in the 50 and 100m breaststroke as he romped to gold in the one-lap final in 26.06.

The 24-year-old, who smashed his own 100m world record earlier this week, also helped Britain to bronze in the mixed 4x100m medley relay.

Cate Campbell blew past American Simone Manuel with an extraordinary anchor leg to bring Australia gold in 3:39.08.

"I feel like a bear who's been in hibernation," said Campbell after two days off.

"I was starting to get a little bit restless -- there are only so many episodes of 'Friends' I can watch."

with agencies