Olympics, Swimming: Flash Michael Phelps Wins Sixth Gold, World Record in 200 IM -- August 14, 2008

By John Lohn

BEIJING, China, August 15. HE'S one step closer to history.

In what was supposed to be one of his most difficult individual challenges of the Olympics, Michael Phelps delivered another no-doubt-about-it victory in the 200 individual medley. Racking up his sixth gold medal and sixth world record of the Games, Phelps popped a time of 1:54.23 to lower his prior standard of 1:54.80.

Phelps was expected to receive a major push from American teammate Ryan Lochte, but Mr. Olympia turned the race into a cakewalk, as he won by two-plus seconds of Hungarian Laszlo Cseh (1:56.52), who finished the slightest bit ahead of Lochte (1:56.53). The podium placements replicated the results of the 400 IM.

Phelps later qualified second for the final of the 100 butterfly and needs just that gold and one in the 400 medley relay to complete his quest for eight gold medals. His career Olympic totals now sit at 12 gold medals and 14 overall pieces of hardware. In the 200 IM, Phelps bolted to the lead on the fly leg, splitting 24.59. He turned after the backstroke in 53.40 and was at 1:26.90 following the breaststroke leg.

"I just wanted to step on it in the first 50 a little bit and get out to an early lead," Phelps said. "I knew that was a hard double for Ryan. In the first half, if I got a big enough lead I thought I could hang on and that's all I wanted to do."

Cseh won his third medal of the Games, to go along with previous top-three efforts in the 400 IM and 200 butterfly. The key for Cseh was building an early advantage over Lochte, who cut into that edge with every stroke over the final 100 meters. Finishing behind Lochte, who was coming off a gold-winning effort in the 200 back, was Brazil's Thiago Pereira (1:58.14).

Great Britain's James Goddard was the sixth-place finisher after notching a time of 1:59.24 and Canadian Keith Beavers went 1:59.43 for seventh. Great Britain's Liam Tancock completed the field in 2:00.76.

Results: 2008 Olympic Games - Swimming

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Reaction Time Comments

August 14, 2008 The whole .6 he took off of the WR was on the first 50 (25.1 down to 24.5). The last 150 overall was the same. That bodes well for his first 50 in the 100 tomorrow.
Submitted by: crafto
August 14, 2008 what a shame for lochte...i wanted him to challenge phelps
Submitted by: carls
August 14, 2008 Good call crafto. I think it was mostly his fly and breast leg that bettered that WR. I think overall his back and free were slower. The reason for his free being so IMO is because Lochte wasnt there to push him like he was there at trials, but not lochte's fault he had the 2 back finals 25mins before hand haha
Submitted by: WUswimmer
August 14, 2008 Does anyone else want to like throttle Andrea Kramer? "You were under world record pace at the 50, why so aggressive?" She has asked a lot of swimmers a lot of stupid questions this week, but that one is the most inane thing I've ever heard. I'm really impressed at how all these swimmers aren't like laughing at her and are able to come up with such good responses :)
Submitted by: Sphere
August 14, 2008 Lochte deserves recognition for what he did here. Certainly Phelps steals the show at these Olympics, but Lochte might be the first person to ever win two individual medals in half an hour. Pretty impressive. Just thought it was worth mentioning!
Submitted by: Dizzy1203
August 14, 2008 Sphere- I'm so with you! I can't stand her and her insanely stupid (and downright rude) questions. I don't think I'd be half as nice as they are all being. I'd be like "are you kidding?!" and then say hi to friends and family and tell her "I'd be glad to answer your questions if you have anything halfway intelligent and not insanely rude to ask." The worst to me is when she asks questions that are really negative about what they have coming up. Oh, and I really hate that they can't let the swimmers warm down first. Geeez.
Submitted by: Ako
August 15, 2008 Good call, Dizzy. I think Rowdy has been playing up how hard it could be for Phelps to win the fly so maybe Andrea Kramer was taking her cue from that, like "why so aggressive in the semifinal?" But she obviously doesn't grasp the Phelps phenomenon . I get the feeling from her questions, she was not a swimmer, is that true?
Submitted by: liquidassets
August 15, 2008 Andrea Kremer has spent pretty much her entire career as a sideline and pregame reporter for football. She likely asks the questions she does at the pool because she doesn't know any better. Still, I agree it's pretty annoying.

The thing that is the most frustrating for me is how she almost seems to jump on the people who are not performing well. It's the Olympics! These athletes only get noticed by the mainstream media every few years. Please, allow them to take in the moment. Nobody is as frustrated with Brendan Hansen's performance as much as he is. Same thing goes for Kate Ziegler. I realize she's just a journalist trying to do her job, but why ALWAYS focus on the negatives? Her comments and questions seem to say "Man, you either underestimated the competition or didn't train properly. Why has everything fallen apart for you?" Very annoying.

And then she asks Phelps why he goes out so fast in the IM, basically questioning his race strategy. Come on, Andrea. Ask a quarterback why he took a knee at the end of the half on the 3 yard line. Ask a coach how he was able to get his defense to make four picks in ten minutes. But don't question a swimmer's race strategy sixty seconds after setting a world record. Stick to what you know.
Submitted by: Dizzy1203
August 15, 2008 They should have used Summer Sanders as the 'sideline reporter' instead of Andrea Kramer.
Submitted by: justafan
August 15, 2008 His 33.5 on the breaststroke leg compared to the same 150 split for the Men's 200 Breast was faster than 3 of the finalists. (And obviously the fastest in the 200IM.) So much for it being his "weak" leg...
Submitted by: MagiSwimmer
August 15, 2008 Has anyone wondered that perhaps all these idiotic questions are being "fed" to her by someone in the production booth? The questons are probably a result of some market research that suggests the average viewer wants to hear responses to these type of questons. Those of us logging onto this web site are not the target audience for her questions.
Submitted by: hildeaz
August 15, 2008 Yeah he's an world class breaststroker now, though it's weird to think about it. Though it may be apples and oranges; personally I feel the burn worse on the 2nd half of a 200 breast than I do on the breast leg of the IM. Come to think of it would be cool to see what he could do in a 100 or 200 breast while tapered like he is now. I would guess he just might break 1:01 and around 2:11.
Submitted by: liquidassets
August 15, 2008 Hildeaz; I think you're right, that's exactly what I had said about John Naber at Trials. Swimming fans and general sports fans seem to have different mindsets when it comes to this sort of issue. The cultures are very different, IMHO.
Submitted by: liquidassets
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