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Saturday, August 1, 2009

100-meter time ‘suits’ Phelps just fine

As if Michael Phelps had anything to prove after the Beijing Olympics but the recent non-direct banter between he and Milorad Cavic who popped off after breaking Phelps’ world record in 100 meter butterfly the semi-finals of the World Championships stating “if Michael wants an Arena, he just has to say. Or if he wants and Jaked and they don’t want to give it to him for free, I’ll buy it for him”. Firstly, the key word there was “semi” next, in the future perhaps you don’t want to tug on Superman’s cape or suit in this case. Because when the chips were in the center of the table, and the money was on the line, in the FINALS, in was Phelps who answered the call. 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 100-meter butterfly, beating the Serbian with a time of 49.82. Cavic also broke 50 seconds, but 49.95 was only good enough for silver. He wasn't nearly as close as last year's Beijing Olympics, when Phelps famously won by one-hundredth of a second and Cavic always maintained that he actually touched first. 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 mom and sister in the stands. Needless to say, he was pumped for this. 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. Was this what the sport needed to keep it in the spotlight until the London games, or are the Olympic sports different than football and basketball where the chirpin’ is part of the game?

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