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Heroic Phelps equals Spitz record (Update x2)

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Phelps record

Michael Phelps joined Mark Spitz at the highest peak of Olympic achievement on Saturday when his final, desperate lunge for the board brought him victory in the 100m butterfly by the thinnest possible margin and gave him his seventh gold medal at these Games — after an official protest from Serbia was rejected.

Milorad Cavic of Serbia appeared to have the gold tied up until Phelps’s perfect timing saw him home by one hundredth of a second. That is as precise as the timekeeping goes but if anything it looked less than that and shortly after the race Serbia protested the result.

That was rejected a few minutes later, confirming the seventh gold for Phelps.

 ”I actually thought when I did take that half stroke I thought I had lost the race right there, but I guess that was the difference in the end,” Phelps told reporters after the race but before the protest was launched.

“The last two Olympics I have been able to nail my finishes, I’m happy and at a loss for words but excited.”

Day seven at the Games: Fabulous Phelps keeps focus on the pool

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Phelps divesMichael Phelps made it six golds in six races to edge closer to the record of Mark Spitz, while the three fastest men in the world whetted the appetites of 90,000 fans at the Bird’s Nest as swimming and athletics vied for attention on Friday.

Phelps was untroubled in the men’s 200 metres individual medley, moving to within one win of Spitz’s record from the 1972 Games.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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Judo1

We actually have two pictures of the day for Friday, on a similar theme. These two shots are truly inspirational… The Games aren’t just about perfectly toned bodies, after all!

TOP: Andreas Tolzer of Germany (L) fights Janusz Wojnarowicz of Poland during their men’s +100kg repechage judo match at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 15, 2008. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Beijing podcast — day seven

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In which Julian Linden, Martin Petty, Ossian Shine and myself combine to discuss Harry Potter, Rocky and Mary Poppins, as well as all the sport you could shake a stick at.

This one’s short and sweet so go ahead and give it a click. What else have you got to do for the next seven minutes?

Michael Phelps: the joy of six

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Phelps joy

Six races, six world records and six gold medals: there really is no stopping Michael Phelps at these Games.

The man from Baltimore finished over a second ahead of his closest rival, Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, in the men’s 200 metres individual medley on Friday to close to within one of Mark Spitz’s record of seven golds at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Ryan Lochte, pictured above, was third.

Instant expert: the men’s 100m

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The athletics is underway, at last, and the three favourites Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay all came safely through their heats this morning.

This is the race everyone will be talking to in the build-up to Saturday’s final so we thought we’d give you the chance to sound like an expert without have to leaf through the record books.

Day six at the Games: Roger Federer’s miserable year

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FedererRoger Federer came to Beijing hoping for a singles gold medal to ease the pain of losing the last two major finals and his number one ranking to Rafa Nadal.

Tennis at the Olympics may rank far below the Grand Slams but considering he has not won one of those this year a gold medal would still have served very nicely, thanks very much.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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Gary Hershorn writes: Photographers at the Olympics are always waiting for the cliché medals ceremony images, those being a bite or kiss of the medal.

As corny as they may be, once in awhile the framing all comes together and actually produces a nice photo that newspapers love to publish. Alain Bernard kissing his gold medal after winning the men’s 100 meters freestyle final was one such photo.

Beijing podcast — day six

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What do all those athletes get up to in the Village once the competition is over?

Is Michael Phelps the most marketable athlete in the world?

And can Julian Linden speak a bit more clearly, please?

I’m joined by Julian, Mitch Phillips, Nick Mulvenney and Belinda Goldsmith to discuss the smouldering issues of the day.

Story of the day: Blind archer targets fuzzy yellow, gold

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Legally blind archer

Peter Rutherford had an interview today with South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun, who has already won one gold medal at these Games and is favourite for the individual title despite being legally blind.

Im’s eyesight is listed at 20/200 by the Korea Archery Federation, which basically means he can see at 20 feet what a person with perfect vision can see at 200 feet.

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