Sunday, August 10, 2008

Michael Phelps smashes World Record to win 1st gold in men's 400m Individual Medley

Michael Phelps of USA made a blistering start to his quest to win eight gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the National Aquatics Center on Sunday when the 23-year-old smashed the world record in winning the men's 400m Individual Medley.

(Photo credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Phelps was the defending Olympic champion, world record holder and world champion going into the event, and had everything to lose with determined Hungarian Laszlo Cseh and Ryan Lochte (USA) chasing him home.

Phelps broke his own world record by a massive 1.41 seconds finishing in a time of 4:03.84.

(Photo credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Phelps took the field out fast and was always well in front of world record pace. Cseh and Lochte were able to cut Phelps' lead momentarily during the backstroke and breaststroke legs, but Phelps increased his advantage on the final freestyle leg.

The fastest qualifier from the heats, Phelps defended his Athens 2004 title in style in his first event of a busy program in Beijing. This comprehensive victory will send shivers through the rest of his competitors due to swim against him in the coming days.

Cseh swam a great last freestyle leg to win the silver medal in a European Record 4:06.16, relegating Lochte to the bronze medal in 4:08.09.

Lochte, the Silver medalist from the 2007 world championships, will be bitterly disappointed that he not only was unable to challenge Phelps but dropped to third behind the Hungarian.

(Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)

It is the perfect start for Phelps, the man known as the 'Baltimore Bullet', as he aims for a perfect eight Gold medals to break American Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich.

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