Mon, Aug 03, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Phelps quiets Cavic with record 100 fly

NOT EVEN CLOSE: Despite a collision while warming up that left him ‘blurry’ in his left eye, Michael Phelps became the first person to finish the event in under 50 seconds


Phelps outsprints Milorad Cavic of Serbia to win the 100m butterfly final


Michael Phelps beat Milorad Cavic again. No doubt about it.

With a defiant performance in a supposedly inferior suit, Phelps stayed close over the outward lap and rallied on the return to become the first swimmer to break 50 seconds in the 100m butterfly, beating the Serb with a time of 49.82.

Cavic also broke 50 seconds, but 49.95 only got him a silver — and plenty of words to eat. He wasn’t nearly as close as last year’s Beijing Olympics, when Phelps famously won by 0.01 seconds and Cavic claimed he had touched first.

“That satisfied me a little bit,” Phelps quipped with a crooked grin. “I set it up perfectly.”

When Phelps saw his time at the Foro Italico, he hopped up on the lane rope separating him and Cavic, threw up his arms and let out a scream toward his mother and sister in the stands.

Showing as much emotion as he ever has, Phelps also slapped the water and tugged at his Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit — no doubt in reference to Cavic offering to get Phelps one of those supposedly faster polyurethane suits so he wouldn’t have any excuses.

No need, Milorad. Phelps did just fine with his own attire.

“It doesn’t matter what suit you wear,” Phelps said. “It matters how you train.”

In one of the most memorable events of the Beijing Olympics, Phelps pulled out an improbable victory on his final half-stroke to beat Cavic by the narrowest possible margin. Without that win, Phelps would not have broken Mark Spitz’s record with eight gold medals in a single Games.

Cavic has stewed over the loss, believing he touched first but didn’t put as much pressure on the touchpad as Phelps, who crashed into the wall much harder. Even though all electronic and photographic evidence shows Phelps won, Cavic repeated his claims when he got to Rome.

Taiwan’s swimmers


Women’s 50m freestyle

Heat 8

Chen Ting placed 107/169

time: 28.39 (eliminated)

Heat 9

Ting Sheng-yo placed 96/169

time: 27.99 (eliminated)

Men’s 50m backstroke

Heat 9

Tsung Chao-lin placed 87/130

time: 28.62 (eliminated)

Men’s 1,500m freestyle

Heat 4

Pan Kai-wen placed 33/43

time: 16:18.38 (eliminated)

Heat 2

Chien Jui-ting placed 34/43

time: 16:22.09 (eliminated)

Women’s 4x100m medley relay

Heat 3

Taiwan (Chen Ting/Chen I-chuan/Ting Sheng-yo/Yang Chin-kuei) placed 26/35, time: 4:18.88 (eliminated)

He also tried to get into Phelps’ head, saying it was the American’s own fault for sticking with a Speedo suit that isn’t as fast as polyurethane models such as the Arena X-Glide, which Cavic wears.

The Serbian offered to get Phelps an X-Glide “within the hour” or buy him another of the rubberized suits out of his own pocket.

Cavic even said he would really prefer to race Phelps wearing nothing but briefs.

Phelps said he would do his talking in the pool.

Phelps set his second world record of the fastest meet in history and got back the mark Cavic snatched away a night earlier with a time of 51.01 in the semi-finals.

Phelps also won his fourth gold medal of the championships, to go along with the silver he grudgingly accepted after losing to Germany’s Paul Biedermann in the 200m free.

Three other world records were set on Saturday, bringing the total to 39 with one day left at the final meet for high-tech bodysuits.

Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe took down her own mark in the 200m backstroke, winning in 2 minutes, 4.81 seconds.

China claimed the record in the women’s 400m medley relay.

Li Zhesi finished it off in 3:52.19 to beat the mark set by Australia (3:52.69) at the Beijing Olympics. The winning team also included Zhao Jing, Chen Huijia and Jiao Liuyang.

In a semi-final heat of a non-Olympic event, Britain’s Liam Tancock set a world record of 24.08 in the 50m backstroke, eclipsing the mark of 24.33 held by American Randall Bal. Junya Koga of Japan also went under the previous record time to win the second heat at 24.29. The final was set for last night.

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