U.S. Olympic Trials: Michael Phelps Just Misses World Record in 200 Fly, Sets U.S. Open Standard -- July 2, 2008

By John Lohn

OMAHA, Nebraska, July 2. FOR the second straight night, Michael Phelps flirted with one of his world records. And, for the second consecutive evening, he came up just short. Nonetheless, the greatest swimmer in history put on another sensational show for the crowd of 12,000-strong at the Qwest Center.

Right around world-record pace for the entire race, the defending Olympic champion in the 200 butterfly clocked a time of 1:52.20 in his pet event, the discipline that rocketed him to stardom. Phelps' winning time was just off his world record of 1:52.09, which he managed at last year's World Championships in Melbourne.

It was Phelps' third victory of the Trials, complementing earlier triumphs in the 200 freestyle and 400 individual medley. Phelps was pushed in the early stages of the race as Davis Tarwater and Gil Stovall stayed with the eight-time Olympic medalist. Phelps, however, pulled away in the latter stages of the swim.

"My butterfly felt the best this year," Phelps said. "I'm not sure if I was too conservative. This gives me the opportunity to prep in the next month. I'm not exactly disappointed. It was the second-fastest I've ever swam, but I would've liked to go a little faster."

Stovall, using a split of 29.86 for the last 50 meters, grabbed the second spot as he reeled in Tarwater, who was 31.04 for the final lap. Stovall touched the wall in 1:53.86, making him the second-fastest performer in history. As for Tarwater, he was timed in 1:54.46, the fastest showing of his career. The rest of the field was rounded out by Matt Patton (1:56.98), Dan Madwed (1:57.10), Alex Vanderkaay (1:57.25), Bobby Bollier (1:57.26) and Mark Dylla (1:58.11).

Full Results

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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Reaction Time Comments

July 2, 2008 Wow, Tarwater really makes you wish they allowed 3 per team, along with McGregory, Kukors, etc.. They are honorary Olympians in my eyes. It's too bad the eastern block FINA reps got their egos bruised in the 70's during the cold war. I guess it wasn't enough for their doped women to dominate the podium. :-P Great swims guys.
Submitted by: liquidassets
July 3, 2008 It looked to me like Gil Stovall went over the 15 meter mark off of his last wall. Anyone else see this???
Submitted by: bmcdonald
July 3, 2008 I thought the same thing about Stovall last night, after but watching the race again, I was wrong. There's a yellow lane marker at 10 meters AND at 15, and he was a bit beyond the 10-meter marker. Look at the footage going into the final turn, and you can see both markers.

Look at his dolphin kicks off that wall, though - absolutely sick.

Submitted by: kcswimjk
July 3, 2008 Gil,
Denny Boyd here. Hope you remember me. So proud of you. You are as tough as they come. Way to go. I think I woke up all of Myrtle Beach cheering for you!!! You da' man!!! Say hello to the whole family for me. Miss you all
Submitted by: boydd
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Gil Stovall places second in the 200 butterfly to secure a spot on the 2008 olympic team.
Photo By: Peter H. Bick

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