By Sarah Tolar
LONG BEACH, Calif., July 9. MICHAEL Phelps was victorious yet again. He took control of the men’s 200 freestyle from the start and held off a hard-charging Klete Keller to get his hand on the wall first at 1:46.42, a new Olympic Trials meet record. Keller was second with a 1:46.87.
Keller laid low the first 50 and let the field get out in front of him, as he was seventh at the first wall.
“I like taking it home faster than most people, so I stuck with that plan. It has been pretty faithful to me so far,” Keller explained.
Peter Vanderkaay of the University of Michigan and Ryan Lochte of the University of Florida, both booked tickets to Athens, with times of 1:48.52 and 1:48.65. They will team with Phelps and Keller to make up the 800 freestyle relay which hopes to challenge the Australians for gold.
But with the elation, also comes the heartbreak. Chad Carvin of Mission Viejo, who was vying for his second Olympic team after overcoming cardiomyopathy in 1996, finished in seventh, missing the spot of relay alternate by less than two-tenths of a second. At 30, Carvin would have been the oldest man on the Olympic team in over 60 years.