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Michael Phelps barely makes it

on July 28, 2012
Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps on 28th of July 2012 Saturday earned the eighth and final qualifying spot for the final of the men’s 400 individual medley, an event in which he is the two-time defending Olympic champion.

LONDON — Michael Phelps barely qualified in the 400-meter individual medley on the opening day of Olympic swimming Saturday, squeaking into the final by seven-hundredths of a second.

Phelps on Saturday morning qualified for the eighth and final spot in tonight’s final of the 400 individual medley. That puts him in an outside lane tonight.

“A final spot is a final spot,” Phelps said. “The only thing that matters is getting a spot in. You can’t win a gold medal from the morning.”

No, but you can lose one if you don’t qualify, and Phelps very nearly didn’t. He won his heat in 4 minutes, 13.33 seconds, barely beating Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who finished in 4:13.40. Cseh will miss the final after winning silver in 2008 and bronze in 2004.

Lochte qualified in third place overall.

“My first race is always the worst one,” Lochte said. “I’m glad I got the cobwebs out.”

And what of his rival and village suitemate qualifying last?

“You can’t count him out,” Lochte said.

“Even though he just squeaked in eighth, he’s a racer. We’re going to do everything we can to go 1-2 tonight.”

Kosuke Hagino of Japan led the way in 4:10.01. Chad le Clos of South Africa was second at 4:12.24, and Ryan Lochte of the United States advanced in third at 4:12.35.

Jess Schipper of Australia, the bronze medalist four years ago, was 24th and missed the semifinals by eight spots.

In the 400 free, Sun Yang of China qualified fastest in 3:45.07. American Peter Vanderkaay was second at 3:45.80, followed by his teammates Conor Dwyer in 3:46.24

Phelps hopes to be the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three consecutive Olympics. Lochte, who won bronze in the 400 IM in 2008, beat Phelps in the event at the Olympic trials and won the world championship in the medley distance in 2009 and 2011.

Tonight’s other qualifiers are Thiago Pereira of Brazil, Thomas Fraser-Holmes of Australia, Luca Marin of Italy and Yuya Horihata of Japan. None was expected to be ranked above the two-time defending Olympic champ.

“I didn’t expect those guys to go that fast in the heats,” Phelps said.

Lochte cautioned reporters to remember one thing: Phelps is a racer. He said he hoped they’d finish 1-2 tonight. Lochte wants dearly to be No. 1.

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One response to “Michael Phelps barely makes it

  1. Mr WordPress says:

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