Quebec Cup: Michael Phelps Rattles World Record

MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada, June 20. MICHAEL Phelps nearly shot down Ian Crocker's world record in the men's 100 fly at the Quebec Cup this evening.

Phelps ripped off a time of 50.48 to just miss Crocker's global mark of 50.40. Maybe that much ballyhooed moustache cost Phelps a chance at the world record this evening?

Phelps went out in 24.14 and came home in 26.34. Crocker went out faster with a 23.51, but came home slower with a 26.89.

Special thanks to Swimming Canada for the following press release regarding the rest of the meet this evening:

It was a memorable night for more than 3,000 spectators at the Olympic Park Pool on Saturday at the Canada Cup swimming competition.

First American Michael Phelps, the meet's star attraction, came within 0.08 seconds of the world record in his 100-metre butterfly victory. Then a few minutes later, hometown swimmer Victoria Poon notched her second Canadian record in two days, this time lowering her mark in the women's 50 freestyle.

Poon, an Olympic team member in 2008, clocked 25.35 seconds to eclipse her previous mark of 25.42 set last month at the U.S., Grand Prix in Charlotte, North Carolina. She lowered the 50 butterfly national record on Friday.

Marie-Pier Ratelle of Quebec City was second in 25.90 and Emily Wong of Nepean, Ont., third in 25.91.

"The difference between my performance here and in Charlotte was that I was much more rested for this event," said Poon, who is coached by Benoit Lebrun of the Club de natation piscine du parc olympique (CNPPO) which is hosting this weekend's event at the Olympic Park Pool.

"Today however I didn't have a great preliminary. That put the pressure on because I really wanted to go fast here. It's great for the confidence to go a best time at every meet."

Phelps, who won a record eight gold at the Beijing Olympic Games last year, clocked a personal best 50.48 seconds and just missed the world mark of 50.40 set by compatriot Ian Crocker at the 2005 world championships in Montreal.

"I'm pleased with my time," said Phelps. "I told myself anything under 51 seconds would be satisfying."

Christopher Brady of the U.S., was second in 52.48 and Joe Bartoch of London, Ont., was third in 53.58. Bartoch, an Olympic team member last year, soaked up the atmosphere.

"It was awesome," said Bartoch, coached by Paul Midgley. "The crowd went wild during the race and I realized he (Phelps) was doing something pretty impressive. It was fun. I tried to keep focused on my lane and I'm happy to keep my times consistent at this point in the season."

Other winners in men's competition included Mathieu Bois of Montreal in the 200 breaststroke.

In the women's 200 breaststroke, Annamay Pierse of Vancouver produced a strong performance clocking 2:24.85 for the gold. An Olympic finalist last year, Pierse hasn't missed a beat in 2009 and broke the world short course record in the 200 breaststroke this past March.

"It was faster than my time at Olympic trials so that is very promising," said Pierse, coached by Josef Nagy. "My goal was to have a really good first half of the race and show some endurance the rest of the way. I felt I was almost there."

Other winners in women's competition included Audrey Lacroix of Montreal in the 100 butterfly, Barbara Jardin of Montreal in the 200 backstroke and Stephanie Horner of Montreal in the 400 freestyle.