Michael Phelps broke the world record in the 100m butterfly at the US championships on Thursday, giving him ownership of five individual world marks.
The 14-time Olympic gold medalist swam the two-lap final in 50.22 seconds at the Indiana University Natatorium.
Phelps lowered Ian Crocker’s mark of 50.40 set at the 2005 world championships in Montreal.
Phelps led at 50m with a split of 23.83, just three-tenths off world-record pace. Known for his strong finishes, he pulled clear to beat Tyler McGill, who touched in 51.06. Aaron Peirsol was third in 51.30.
“Crock had a ton more first 50 speed than I did. That’s something I’ve really been working on,” Phelps said. “I’ve always been able to come home pretty strong. I finally got the front half a little bit faster. If I can get that even faster, I’ll be in better shape.”
Phelps holds world records in the 100m and 200m flys, 200m and 400m individual medleys, and the 200m free.
Phelps had owned the 100m fly mark for a day at the 2003 worlds in Barcelona. But Crocker took it from him a day later, then lowered it twice more.
“I still remember the day at worlds when I broke it and the next day Crock broke it and Crock’s had it ever since,” he said. “To finally be able to get it tonight means a lot.”
Last month, Phelps won the event at a meet in Montreal with a then-personal-best of 50.48.
“Crock actually texted me after and wished me all the luck and telling me that was my record,” he said.
“That meant a lot, from a competitor and a friend and a classy guy. We had amazing battles back and forth. Those are something I definitely miss,” Phelps said.
Crocker hasn’t swum competitively since losing the 100m fly to Phelps at the Bejing Olympics, where Phelps won a record eight gold medals.
Phelps’ victory gave him a spot in the event at the world championships this month in Rome. He already qualified in the 200m fly and 200m freestyle as he continues his transformation from swimming middle distances to sprints.