Swimming World Throwback Thursday Video: Michael Phelps’ Surprise World Record

PHOENIXA, Arizona, February 13. ALMOST seven years ago today, the swimming community received a pleasant shock when The Greatest of All Time, Michael Phelps, broke a world record during an in-season meet.

The competition was the USA Swimming Grand Prix in Columbia, Mo., in 2007, and Phelps was in final preparations for the long course world championships in about seven weeks. Like many he was set to face in Melbourne, Phelps was likely enduring some final hard training before beginning his taper for worlds. But that didn’t stop him from blasting a world record in the 200 butterfly on Feb. 17 with a 1:53.71. That lowered his own record by nine hundredths of a second.

Phelps fans knew after that race that something special was going to come from Phelps in Melbourne at the world championships, and he didn’t disappoint. He won seven gold medals in the world championships, a milestone that would be bettered at the Olympics the following year.

This wasn’t the first time Phelps broke a world record a month or so before a major meet. In 2001, he set the world record in the 200 IM at the Santa Clara International meet just before heading to the world championships.

Take a look at our Throwback Thursday video in the player below, featuring an astounding in-season world record from Michael Phelps!

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Author: Jeff Commings

Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for SwimmingWorld.com and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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