Phelps joins the elites

BEIJING (Reuters) - Michael Phelps carved his name among the Olympic greats on Tuesday, smashing another world record in the pool to join Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis in an elite group on a record nine career golds.

An imperious victory in the 200 meters freestyle also gave the 23-year-old American his third gold in Beijing as he seeks to overtake Spitz’s other record, seven golds at a single Games.

“The ball’s rolling,” he said in his usual laid-back style, after carving almost a full second off his own world record. “We just need to keep that ball rolling.”

Togo won its first Olympic medal, in kayaking, and North Korea won a rare gold, but the record books will remember Phelps on Tuesday for another powerful performance at the Water Cube.

Phelps joined compatriots Lewis and Spitz, as well as “Flying Finn” distance runner Paavo Nurmi and Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina with a total of nine golds. He could overtake them all on Wednesday when he swims in two more finals.

“To be tied for the most Olympic golds of all time, with those names in Olympic history … it is a pretty amazing accomplishment,” he said.

Phelps led an American fightback against Chinese dominance of the medal table on day four, the U.S. team winning three out of four golds on offer in the pool.

They picked up another when a hunter from Texas, Walton Eller, beat an Italian policeman to first place in the men’s double trap shooting.

China struck back with gold in the men’s team gymnastics, an elegant victory in the women’s 10 meter synchronized platform diving, a fencing gold in the men’s individual saber and another weightlifting title.

By early evening they led the Americans 13 golds to seven.

The hosts have spared no expense in staging the Games and preparing their athletes. Nothing would be sweeter than toppling the Americans off the top of the final medals table, after coming second in Athens.

They have dominated the weightlifting, won all three diving golds so far and picked up victories in shooting and judo.

The gymnastics victory was among the sweetest.

Gold medalists in Sydney, the Chinese failed to win a medal in Athens. This time they stormed to victory in front of an ecstatic crowd, led by double world all-round champion Yang Wei, who called it “a glory for China.”

Little has been left to chance by organizers desperate to make a good impression, with cheerleaders being used to fill vacant seats in several venues.

Organizers also admitted some of the opening ceremony fireworks were pre-recorded and rebroadcast on the night to enhance the event’s televised choreography.

In the country’s far northwest, three security guards were stabbed in the third attack in Xinjiang province in just over a week. Muslim separatists are the likeliest suspects, and security has been visibly tightened at the Games venues.

Old news! :slight_smile:

11 now :slight_smile:

I’m surpised they don’t give medals for 75m doggy paddle… What a joke.

Any benefit to society to come on this forum and put down another athlete or sport?

Lol good try… Swimming makes a mockery of the medal table and devalues the achievement of winning a gold medal. If one athlete can win 8 gold medals there are too many similar events.

Why are breastroke, butterfly and backstroke Olympic events? It’s tantamount to having a backwards 100m race!!

Weightlifters compete in two exercises for one gold medal. Which medal has more value - swimming or weightlifting?

Try doing a backstroke 100 meter then do a butterfly 200 meter and a 400 IM and see how similar they are. You act as if the snatch and clean and jerk are barely similar or something.

100 meter sprinters compete in one exercise for one gold medal, which medal has more value 100 meter sprint or weightlifting? Talk about a bogus argument.

Very interesting points DW…I can see where you’re coming from. But each type swimming stroke is itself an individual skill. Some swimmers train to be experts in that particular event. Phelps obviously trains to be a master of all the disiplines. Its almost impossible to compare swimming to the sprints as in the sprints you can only go forward and in one way.

Its an amazing feat because in these finals you have guys that train solely for that stroke and he’s smashing them up. It would be like me going to the Games and dussin out everyone in 8 different events on the track or field.

Phelps LAST event is against a guy who will be doing is first and ONLY event who also happens to have the world record in that event. Talk about easy for Phelps…right…

Are you being purposely obtuse? In swimming you can win 4 gold medals for swimming 100m!! And 4 more for swimmng 200m! Why should you get a medal for swimming from A to B in an inefficient style?

The snatch is an inefficient style…

I do agree that all the swimming records are a joke. A WR in swimming can last about 20 minutes (until the next heat), while a T&F record can last 20 years.

It can be easier for a top swimmer to pick up a bunch of medals compared to a T&F or weightlifting athlete. So what? Do we win the prize of the world’s oil supplies for having lots of swimming medals?

Also, it’s not like every country in the world doesn’t know you can accumulate a lot of medals in swimming. Didn’t China analyze the sports where they could pick up the most medals and place focus there? I can’t help Phelps is the dominant Olympic force:)

Really? You know a better way of getting a barbell over your head in one movement?.. In any case it’s your total that wins you gold. 2 lifts one gold. Boxing - one gold. Judo - one gold. Tennis - one gold. Football - one gold. Swimming 100m… 4 golds!!!

This just in from the IOC:

Track will be adding three more events at the 100m distance - the backward run, the skip, and the two leg hop (bunny hop). In addition, there will be a 400m individual medley consisting of the three aforementioned events plus the standard 100m run. Carl Lewis is promising a comeback in order to try to reclaim the title of “most Olympic gold medals.”


Four ways of throwing something really far- javelin, shotput, hammer throw, discus. Yes, I know that different attributes and traits are required to be successful in each…just like swimming.

This just in from the IOC:

Weightlifting will now have two events consisting of getting a barbell over your head.

Upon further investigation the IOC discovered this is already present.

Hmmm… Using arms to pull your body through the water. Using your arms whilst lying on your back. Using both arms at the same time…

I remember the scandal a few years back because breaststroke was morphing into another form of butterfly. In backstroke you’re allowed one stroke per length on your front and can swim under water on your side… Jokes


What side of the bed did you wake up on today…you don’t seem like your old self or much for the “Beijing Spirit”!



I think James Smith got his juices flowing.

Lol. You got me. The baby hasn’t been sleeping too well…

Do you guys believe Phelps consume 10,000-12,000 cal daily and naps 3-5hrs daily?