Phelps coasts through prelims of 200M butterfly

Phelps coasts through prelims of 200M butterfly

Michael Phelps of the US, warms up before competing in a Men's 200M Freestyle semifinal. AP

Phelps, the world-record holder in the event, didn't want to use too much energy as he looked ahead to a busy evening session. He'll face up-and-coming German Paul Biedermann in the 200 freestyle final before swimming the semifinals of the fly.

"I just wanted to win my heat," said Phelps, who did just that after a sluggish start. "That's all I wanted to do this morning. The biggest thing about that event is just getting into the finals. I think the big race I have to get ready is right off bat tonight, the 200 free."

Phelps was only sixth at the midway point of his heat, but he really turned it on over the final 100 to post a time that trailed only Pawel Korzeniowski of Poland, who did 1:54.33. The other American, Tyler Clary, was third at 1:54.42.
In the first event of the morning prelims, Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa set a meet record in the 50 breaststroke. He touched in 26.92, breaking his own mark of 27.38 from two days earlier.

The 50 breaststroke is not on the Olympic programme.
Americans Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt were top qualifiers in the women's 200 free prelims. Vollmer led at 1:55.98 and Schmitt was next at 1:56.75.

The world-record holder, Italy's Federica Pellegrini, was sixth (1:57.22) and Australia's Stephanie Rice slipped through to the evening semifinals with the 14th-best time.

The last event on the morning schedule was the men's 800 free, another non-Olympic event.
Eleven world records were set through the first two days of the eight-day meet, the last in which pretty much anything goes on the swimsuit front. FINA has banned high-tech bodysuits beginning in 2010, which will make it difficult to match the sort of times being posted in Rome.
The swimmers are closing in on the 15 world records that were set at the last world championships in 2007 and have already eclipsed the nine that fell at the 2005 worlds in Montreal.

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