Michael Phelps is placed to pursue another eight gold medals in London after winning his final event at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.
Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly yesterday in a time of 51.14 seconds, recovering from a poor start to beat Tyler McGill to the wall by 0.18 of a second in Omaha, Nebraska. It was the same event in which Phelps overtook Serbia’s Milorad Cavic with his last stroke at the 2008 Olympics to win by 0.01 second and claim his seventh of a record eight golds.
With his win yesterday, Phelps is on track for the same program in London as he had in Beijing. He also qualified in the 200-meter butterfly, the 200- and 400-meter medleys and the 200- meter freestyle. He may also compete on three relay teams.
“It is crazy because so many times I said I wasn’t going to do it again,” Phelps, 27, said in a televised interview with NBC. “Being able to have these events here and have them go as they did, I’m able to see I can handle this kind of pressure at this level again in multiple events.”
The London games begin July 27, and Phelps said he’ll sit down with coach Bob Bowman over the next several days to determine whether he’ll race all eight events again in what he has said will be his last Olympics.
“I have a great opportunity here to put that final topping on my sundae,” Phelps told NBC. “The more the better, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it like that again. In 2008, everything fell into place perfectly. So we’re going to re-evaluate everything and see what we need to do to be at our best, to be better than we were here.”
His only loss in the finals in Omaha was to Ryan Lochte in the 400-meter individual medley.
Missy Franklin is set to swim in seven Olympic events after winning the women’s 200-meter backstroke yesterday in 2 minutes, 6.12 seconds. Elizabeth Beisel took the second qualifying spot.
Franklin, 17, also qualified in three other individual events -- the 100- and 200-meter freestyle and the 100-meter backstroke -- and will participate in three relays.
Cullen Jones won the men’s 50-meter freestyle by one- hundredth of a second over Anthony Ervin, while Kathleen Ledecky won the women’s 800-meter freestyle by more than two seconds over second-place finisher Kate Ziegler.
Dara Torres, who at 45 is bidding to compete in her sixth Olympics, yesterday advanced to tonight’s final of the women’s 50-meter freestyle. Torres has 12 Olympic medals, tied with Jenny Thompson for the most won by a U.S. female swimmer.
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