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SHANGHAI, China, July 30. MICHAEL Phelps became the first man in FINA World Long Course Championships history to threepeat the men's 100 fly.
Phelps clocked a 50.71 for the victory tonight, defending his 2007 and 2009 titles in the event. Heading into tonight, he had been tied with Ian Crocker as the only men to have defended a title. Crocker won in 2003 and 2005. Phelps' time this evening is the 17th fastest effort all time, and nearly a personal textile best for Phelps, who clocked a 50.65 at U.S. Nationals in 2010.
"I'm not in the right shape physically right now, and I want to be faster," Phelps said. "It was a tough race. I just need to look for what I can do better, and I definitely need to push the first 50 meters. I will keep working on it, and think about how I can be faster."
With Missy Franklin having just broken her American record the event prior, the media in attendance wanted Phelps' take on the U.S. prodigy.
"She is unbelievable," Phelps said. "She's never tired. She is a star, and super good. She's the world's fastest swimmer. She's always so happy, and super relaxing."
Poland's Konrad Czerniak took silver with a 51.15 to move to 12th on the all-time performers list, while USA's Tyler McGill gave the Americans a 1-3 finish with a third-place 51.26. The 1-3 effort for the U.S. is the eighth time the U.S. has had two men make the podium in the event's history.
"I definitely feel faster," McGill said. "This has been an experience, and when there is someone like Phelps next to me, it always helps me. He's a great athlete. It feels really good to get a medal."
Kenya's Jason Dunford (51.59), Japan's Takuro Fujii (51.75), Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin (51.86), The Netherlands' Joeri Verlinden (52.21) and Australia's Geoff Huegill (52.36) completed the championship field.