|By John Lohn
OMAHA, Nebraska, June 30. ONE of the most anticipated events for the men this week is the 200 freestyle, what with a sterling battle expected for the two individual berths and the six relay nods to Beijing. So, it wasn't surprising that the morning prelims were lightning fast, with 1:48.76 required to return for the evening semifinals.
One night after setting the world record in the 400 individual medley, Michael Phelps secured the No. 1 seed for the semifinals with a clocking of 1:46.63. The world champ and world-record holder, Phelps cruised in the final of 11 heats, with Ryan Lochte at his side at the finish. Lochte, who was second to Phelps in the 400 I.M. and went under the former world record, grabbed the second qualifying spot in 1:46.83.
Peter Vanderkaay, the second-fastest man in the world in the event last year, was third-quickest in the morning, going 1:47.04. The trio of Ricky Berens (1:47.72), Klete Keller (1:47.78) and Larsen Jensen (1:47.83) occupied the fourth through sixth positions while Dave Walters (1:47.85) and Chris DeJong (1:47.96) were seventh and eighth, just ahead of Erik Vendt (1:48.23).
Also reaching the semifinals were Danny Beal (1:48.24) and Andy Grant (1:48.44) of Stanford and Scot Robison (1:48.57). The semifinals will also include Matt Owen (1:48.62), Adam Ritter (1:48.64), Michael Klueh (1:48.72) and Matt McGinnis (1:48.76).
Video Footage Removed Due to NBC Restrictions
Go to Swimming World's 2008 Olympics Landing Page for the most comprehensive coverage of the meet on the Internet.
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Photo By: Peter H. Bick