Changing China

Giant on the move

Phelps three in three, joins Olympic elite

August 12, 2008

PhelpsThere was never any doubt about this one. Michael Phelps won the 200m freestyle, secured his third gold medal of these Games — his third world record, too — and become only the fifth athlete to win nine gold medals at the Summer Olympics.

He joins fellow Americans Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis, Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi and Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina at the top of the all-time list of gold medal winners.

But the record he really has in his sights is Spitz’s haul of seven gold medals in Munich in 1972. Can anything now stop Phelps going on to win all all eight?

He certainly looks to be swimming better than ever at the these Games, with today’s time of 1:42.96 shattering his own world record by 0.90 seconds. It was an astonishing performance.

Can he manage five more?

PHOTO: Michael Phelps of the U.S. swims in his men’s 200 meters butterfly heat at the National Aquatics Center during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 11, 2008. REUTERS/David Gray

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