Phelps win again, beating Cavic in 100 fly
By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP National Writer
12 minutes ago
Return to Original Buzz up!73 votes PrintROME (AP)—Michael Phelps beat Milorad Cavic again, and this time there was no doubt about it.
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 the U.S. cheering section.
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.
No need, Milorad.
Phelps did just fine with what he had.
“How can it not motivate you? When there are things that are said, the only thing it does for me is fire me up,” Phelps told NBC. “It does nothing but literally motivate me to no end, and I love it.”
The two rivals finally shook hands, but that was about it.
Nothing more needed to be said.
“This is just a testament to Michael Phelps,” Cavic said. “He can do it all.”
Cavic did say one thing to Phelps: “You’re the man.”
“He just looked at me and smiled,” Cavic said. “He knows it.”
In one of the most memorable events of the Beijing Olympics, Phelps pulled out an improbable victory on his final half-stroke to beat Cavic by the narrowest possible margin. Without that win, Phelps would not have broken Mark Spitz’s record with eight gold medals in a single games.
Cavic has stewed over the loss ever since, believing he touched first but didn’t put as much pressure on the touchpad as Phelps, who ad-libbed a final half-stroke and crashed into the wall much harder. Even though all electronic and photographic evidence shows Phelps won, Cavic repeated his claims when he got to Rome.
He also tried to get into Phelps’ head, saying it was the American’s own fault for sticking with a Speedo suit that isn’t as fast as polyurethane models such as the Arena X-Glide, which Cavic wears.
The Serbian offered to get Phelps an X-Glide “within the hour,” or buy him another of the rubberized suits out of his own pocket. Cavic said he would really prefer to race Phelps wearing nothing but briefs, so everyone would know who the best man is without any help from the suits.
Phelps said he would do his talking in the pool.
That’s just what he did Saturday night, setting the 37th world record of the fastest meet in history and getting back the mark Cavic snatched away a night earlier with a time of 51.01 in the semifinals. Phelps also won his fourth gold medal of the championships, to go along with that silver he grudgingly accepted after losing to Germany’s Paul Biedermann in the 200 free.
Phelps has one event left—the 400 medley relay Sunday night, assuming the U.S. doesn’t mess up in the morning prelims. The Americans will be a heavy favorite in that one, as always.
Phelps’ last individual event in Rome was a classic tortoise-versus-hare matchup, with Cavic knowing he would need a big lead at the turn, and Phelps fully aware he would have to be close enough to pull it out with his typically strong finish.
Cavic knew he was in trouble when Phelps was right on his shoulder as they kicked away from the far wall, just 0.77 separating them.
“I was pretty sure I was going to be ahead at the first turn,” said Cavic, who wanted to be at least a second ahead. “When I saw him right there, uh oh.”
Phelps appeared to be sneaking underwater glances in Cavic’s direction all the way back, then finished in one last swoop of his arms. Teammate Ryan Lochte, watching from the stands, kept screaming, “Come on!” Phelps mother, Debbie, looked as though she could barely breathe as she watched the finish.
“I knew I had to be out a lot faster,” Phelps said, “and just hopefully bring it home like I normally do.”
He didn’t even hear what Cavic had to say when it was over. The Serbian hung on the lane rope, as if wanting to make peace, but Phelps was too busy celebrating.
“Obviously,” he said, “I was very excited and trying to let all my emotions go.”
I watched the Olympics this year and found this dude to be wrecking machine in his sport. This dude just broke another world record for the 100M fly in 49 seconds that is insane. Im starting to think he might be the most dominate athlete of all time. Im basing this fact on for his sport he owns pretty much every world record i cant think of another athlete in any sport that even comes close to that.