Olympics, Swimming: Flash World Record Bonanza Continues, Michael Phelps Clips Standard in 200 Fly -- August 12, 2008

By John Lohn

BEIJING, China, August 13. ADD another title to Michael Phelps' already glowing portfolio. He's now the Olympic-record holder for most gold medals in history. Hey, it's just another day at the office for a man who is the most dominant athlete in the world, and that includes bettering that golfer currently recovering from knee surgery.

Cranking out his fourth world record of the competition, and the 25th individual world mark of his career, Phelps covered the 200 butterfly in 1:52.03, just below his global standard of 1:52.09, set at last year's World Championships in Melbourne. The gold complemented earlier triumphs in the 400 individual medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay.

Racing the event that made him a 15-year-old Olympian in Sydney in 2000, Phelps was second at the 50-meter mark, then took the lead and roared to his latest title. Phelps was 25.36 at the 50, 53.53 at the 100 and 1:22.75 at the 150. The 200 fly was the first of two events in the session for Phelps, along with the 800 freestyle relay.

It was Phelps' 10th gold medal of his Olympic career, setting the record in that category. It was also Phelps' 12th overall medal.

"I couldn't see anything for the last 100. My goggles pretty much filled up with water," Phelps said. "It just kept getting worse and worse through the race and I was having trouble seeing the walls to be honest. But it's fine. I wanted to break the record. I wanted to go 1:51 or better, but for the circumstances, I guess it's not too bad."

For the second time this week, Hungary's Laszlo Cseh was the silver medalist to Phelps. Adding to his hardware from the 400 IM, Cseh popped a European record of 1:52.70 to hold off Japan's Takeshi Matsuda (1:52.97). En route to their medal performances, Cseh and Matsuda became the second and third members of the sub-1:53 club.

New Zealand's Moss Burmester and China's Wu Peng shared fourth place in 1:54.35, impressive times when compared to any but those managed by the medal winners. Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski was sixth in 1:54.60 and Brazil's Kaio Almeida (1:54.71) and Russian Nikolay Skvortsov (1:55.14) rounded out the field.

Results: 2008 Olympic Games - Swimming

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Reaction Time Comments

August 12, 2008 Phelps looked furious that he didnt break 1:52. You could tell thats all he wanted to do and that the event hurt alot more than he thought it would hurt. Im surprised by Cseh's time and Matsuda both breaking the 1:53 barrier. Still phelps throws down a WR and get his gold, still incredibly phenomenal.
Submitted by: WUswimmer
August 12, 2008 I am fairly certain that his goggles filled up with water too. Makes it all the more impressive.
Submitted by: MJB
August 12, 2008 There are two posters on another board who are saying Phelps goggles filled with water.
Submitted by: Vaswimfan
August 12, 2008 I know he just won another gold medal, and set another world record, but WUswimmer is right, Phelps did not look quite right...for him. He has blown away his records in the other races. I think he is tiring. I hope he hasn't gotten what Lochte had before the 400 IM.
Submitted by: skimalaya
August 12, 2008 Well,as they are now saying on TV, including Phelps, it seems its all due to his goggles. His 200 free, after this race, was just off his best. It still seems he has some fuel left.
Submitted by: Park528
August 12, 2008 Lazslo Czech came back the fastest in the last 50. Very impressive, he has been improving a lot. Also note the top 3 went under 1'53!
Submitted by: Valkrum
August 12, 2008 Another great swim by Michael Phelps, but isn't it what we have come to expect? I hope that he is planning on another Olympiad. We are all lucky to be living in his era, and watching history being made. Spare a thought for swimmers like Ryan Lochte and Laszlo Cseh, superstars in their own right, living in the great man's shadow. It was much the same for our Grant Hackett here in Australia. What a great swimmer and inspirational team captain he is, but lived long in the shadow of Ian Thorpe. I think the Men's 200IM will be interesting. Just how much gas does Michael have left?
Submitted by: Cobber
August 13, 2008 Probably the same amount he did in Athens??
Submitted by: Park528
August 13, 2008 I find it interesting that the 200 fly race in Athens was as closely contested by Phelps' competition as this 200 fly in Beijing.

I seem to recall 2nd and 3rd place going a 1.54+ when at the time Michael was one of (if not the only man) under 1.55. And he won by half a second (which is too close to comfort in Michael's world).

I see this goggle snafu in a totally positive light. The situation may have been precisely what was needed to diminish any complacency that may have been arising in Michael. It was becoming sooo easy for him, and now he knows that he really needs to bring 100% of his focus to each race for the remainder of the meet.
Submitted by: cyndee77
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