SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 29. ON the day before his eighteenth birthday, American swimming sensation Michael Phelps set a world record in the 200 meter individual medley.
Swimming at the 36th Santa Clara International swim meet at the George Haines International Aquatic Center in Santa Clara, the 6'4" teen phenom clocked 1:57.94 to erase one of the oldest records on the books — Finland's jani Sievinen's 1:58.16 set at the World ChaMpionships in Rome on September 11, 1994. What makes Phelps' performance even more remarkable is that it was done while he is only beginning to taper for the World Championships in Barcelona in July.
Phelps splits: 25.72 – 55.14 – 1:30.00 – 1:57.94
Phelps now owns three world records, tying him with Australia's Ian Thorpe: the 200 meter butterfly, 400 meter individual medley and now, the 200 meter individual medley. What's more, he is only three-hundredths of a second off the 100 meter butterfly mark.
The last man to hold world marks simultaneously in the two medleys and the 200m fly was the USA's Gary Hall, Sr., more than 30 years ago.
Tracy Caulkins achieved the same feat for women in 1978, though she "only" tied the world mark in the fly.