Michael Phelps Adds Fifth Gold in the 100 Fly, Edges Crocker by Four-Hundredths of a Second

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, August 20. THE Bullet from Baltimore was back in the water tonight and he was right on target.

As he lined up for his seventh final in seven days, everyone knew that this event was going to be a very tough fight for the gold. Next to Phelps was his US teammate Ian Crocker – the man who had beaten him the last two times they had raced, each time lowering the world record. On the other side of him was Ukrainian Andriy Serdinov who had finished third behind the two Americans at last year’s Worlds.

Crocker knew he would have to take it out fast and that’s exactly what he did, turning in 23.59 sseconds — .03 sec under his world record pace. Croatian sprinter Duje Draganja was second in 24.15. Serdinov turned fourth at the halfway mark in 24.30 while Phelps was fifth in 24.36 (under his OR from last night).

On the way home the cream rose to the top as a battle between the middle lanes took shape. It looked for a while that Crocker would get to the wall first, but Phelps was gaining, edging closer with every stroke. Serdinov was very much in the hunt too!

On the last stoke, Phelps was in full flight while Crocker, still fighting the vestiges of the illness that had struck him a week ago, was tightening up. He tightened just enough for Phelps to get to the wall first in 51.25.

Crocker was second in 51.29 while Serdinov touched in 51.36, a new European record, for the bronze. All three were almost a full second ahead of the rest of the field.

Men 100m Butterfly Finals

Record Split Name NOC Location Date
WR 50.76 23.62
CROCKER Ian USA Long Beach (USA) 13 JUL 2004
OR 51.61 24.66
PHELPS Michael USA Athens (GRE) 19 AUG 2004

Event No: 27

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m Time Time
1 4 PHELPS Michael USA 0.76 (5) 24.36 51.25
26.89 OR
2 3 CROCKER Ian USA 0.74 (1) 23.59 51.29
27.70 0.04
3 5 SERDINOV Andriy UKR 0.82 (4) 24.30 51.36
27.06 0.11 EU
4 1 RUPPRATH Thomas GER 0.77 (3) 24.22 52.27
28.05 1.02
5 6 MARCHENKO Igor RUS 0.82 (8) 24.67 52.32
27.65 1.07
6 2 MANGABEIRA Gabriel BRA 0.65 (6) 24.58 52.34
27.76 1.09
7 8 DRAGANJA Duje CRO 0.75 (2) 24.15 52.46
28.31 1.21
8 7 HUEGILL Geoffrey AUS 0.72 (7) 24.60 52.56
27.96 1.31