Brilliant Phelps shatters 200 butterfly mark

Pellegrini wins 200M freestyle with a new record to complete golden double

Brilliant Phelps shatters 200 butterfly mark

Defending champion Michael Phelps powers to the 200M butterfly gold in Rome on Wednesday. Reuters

The American swam one minute 51.51 to beat his Beijing Olympic mark of 1:52.03. "I tried to hang on in the last 50M and I was able to. I wanted to step on it real hard in the first 100," the Olympic champion told reporters.

As he often does for the 200 butterfly, Phelps did not wear a bodysuit and instead chose long pants. He had warmed up in a full suit but said he had not felt comfortable.

His victory partly made up for his defeat in the 200 freestyle final on Tuesday when Germany's Paul Biedermann broke his world record to win. The gold is the 24-year-old's second of the meet after the US won the 4x100 freestyle relay on Sunday and his 19th overall in world championships.

Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski took the silver in the 200 butterfly on another warm Rome evening with Japan's Takeshi Matsuda finishing third in the open air pool.

Italy's sensation Federica Pellegrini smashed her own world record to win the women's 200 metres freestyle to complete a golden double at the championships.

Crowd favourite

The 20-year-old Olympic champion powered away from her rivals in the second half of the race to win with a time of one minute 52.98 seconds, beating the mark of 1:53.67 she set in Tuesday's semis and sending the home crowd into raptures.

Allison Schmitt of the United States was almost two seconds behind in second place and her compatriot Dana Vollmer took the bronze medal.

"I cried today before the start of the race because I felt tired," said a visibly emotional Pellegrini, who also lowered her own world best when charging to victory in the 400 freestyle on Sunday.

"But I have to say I surprised myself. I thought I do one hundredth of a second less than yesterday."

In the men’s 50M breaststroke, South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh broke his own world record to take gold. Van der Burgh, who took bronze in 100 breaststroke on Monday, clocked 26.67 seconds to beat the mark of 26.74 he set in Tuesday's semifinals.
Brazil's Felipe Franca Silva claimed the silver medal with American Mark Gangloff scooping the bronze.

Australian Brenton Rickard, who knocked the men's 100 metres breaststroke world record down to 58.58 in winning that event, came joint fourth with Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr.

Day’s fourth record in the finals was set when China's Zhang Lin obliterated the world mark en route to the gold in the men's 800 metres freestyle. Zhang clocked seven minutes 32.12 seconds to break Grant Hackett's previous best of 7:38.65.

In the semifinals action, Russia's Anastasia Zueva broke the world record in the women's 50 metres backstroke just moments after Daniela Samulski lowered the mark on Wednesday.

Zueva, who broke the 100 backstroke world record earlier this week before that was bettered, swam 27.38 seconds in the second semifinals following Samulski's 27.39 in the first race.

German Samulski had previously held the world record for her June 26 mark of 27.61.
Another German Daniela Samulski broke her own world record in the women's 50 metres backstroke semifinals, swimming 27.39 seconds to beat her June 26 mark of 27.61.


Results: Men: 50M breaststroke: Cameron Van Der Burgh (SA) 26.67 (WR), 1; Felipe Da Silva (Bra) 26.76, 2; Mark Gangloff (US) 26.86, 3.

200M butterfly: Michael Phelps (US) 1:51.51 (WR), 1; Pawel Korzeniowski (Pol) 1:53.23, 2; Takeshi Matsuda (Jap) 1:53.32, 3.

800M freestyle: Zhang Lin (Chi) 7:32.12 (WR), 1; Oussama Mellouli (Tun) 7:35.27, 2; Ryan Cochrane (Can) 7:41.92, 3.

200M freestyle: Federica Pellegrini (Ita) 1:52.98 (WR), 1; Alison Schmitt (US) 1:54.96, 2; Dana Vollmer (US) 1:55.64, 3.

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