Michael Phelps greatest Olympian!

Posted on 1:27 AM by Sameer Shah

This morning the National Aquatic centre bore witness to the American take his Olympic gold medal tally to 11 over all .

Despite the obvious hype, it was not as smooth a first swim for Phelps as most had predicted. Coming into one of his strongest events in which few would have bet against him, Laslo Cseh and Takeshi Matsuda pushed the Baltimore Bullet all the way in a thrilling finale to the men's 200 metres butterfly.

Phelps, who touched the wall in a world record time of 1 minute and 52.09 seconds, looked physically exhausted and cited a pair of faulty goggles for a performance in which he impressed everyone but himself.

"My goggles were filling up with water during the race, and I had trouble seeing the wall," he said.

"I wanted the world record. I wanted a 1:51 or better, but given the circumstances it's not too bad, I guess."

In a specular return to form, Phelps led Team USA to an unassailable lead in the mens 4 x 200m relay.

The American contingent, sweeping all opposition aside, obliterated their previous world record of 7m03.24secs to finish nearly five seconds earlier in 6m58.56secs.

While Phelp's achievements understandably turned the most heads, the tone for the morning session was set by a series of phenomenal displays of the highest Olympic standard.

World records tumbled and fell yet again with Frenchman Alain Bernard taking Eamon Sullivan's 100m freestyle world record, only to watch Sullivan snatch the record back three minutes later.

"I just feel great. I got to the turn and felt like I didn't spend much energy on the way out," said Sullivan who finished in 47.05secs.

"I just used the extra energy for the second lap. I knew I'd have to be on my game to get to the final, I just came out and tried to swim my own race.

Managing to free themselves from the grip of Team USA, Italian Federica Pellegrini and Australian Stephanie Rice both broke world records in their 200m freestyle and the 200m medley events respectively.

America's Katie Hoff who had been prematurely dubbed as the favourite in the majority of her events, failed to reach the podium in either of the finals.

Silver and bronze went to the impressive Zimbabwean Kirsry Coventry and yesterday's gold medalist Natalie Coughlin in the medley, while Slovakian Sara Isakovic and Pang Jiaying took the same prizes in the freestyle event.

It was a mixed day for the British swimmers, who showed some genuine promise in the pool although they could not match the Olympic pedigree shown by other nations, narrowly missing out on podium finishes in a number of events.

While David Carry, Andrew Hunter, Robert Renwick and Ross Davenport of Team GB broke the British record in the men's 4 x200m relay they failed to take bronze being pipped by Austrlia and Jemma Lowe, along with Ellen Gandy, failed to make their 200m butterfly final.



200m butterfly final:

1. Michael Phelps (USA) 1:52.03 (WR), 2. Laszlo Cseh (HUN) 1:52.70, 3. Takeshi Matsuda (JPN) 1:52.97

4x200m freestyle relay final: 1. USA 6:58.56 (WR), 2. Russia 7:03.70, 3. Australia 7:04.98, 4. Italy 7:05.35, 5. Canada 7:05.77, 6. Great Britain 7:05.92


200m freestyle final:

1. Federica Pellegrini (ITA) 1:54.82 (WR), 2. Sara Isakovic (SLO) 1:54.97, 3. Pang Jiaying (CHN) 1:55.05, 4. Kathryn Hoff (USA) 1:55.78

200m individual medley final: 1. Stephanie Rice (AUS) 2:08.45 (WR), 2. Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2:08.59, 3. Natalie Coughlin (USA) 2:10.34, 4. Kathryn Hoff (USA) 2:10.68.

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