Michael Phelps wins 200 butterfly to qualify in 3rd individual event
06/29/2012 12:01 AM
07/03/2012 9:10 AM
OMAHA, Neb. -- Tyler Clary qualified for his first Olympics, finishing second to Michael Phelps in the 200-meter butterfly.
"You have no idea how good that feels," Clary told Phelps before the two exited the pool.
Clary is right. It was so long ago that Phelps qualified for his first U.S. Olympic Team that he likely can't remember the feeling.
Phelps' victory Thursday marked the 13th time he has qualified to swim an individual event in the Olympics.
It was the third time this year alone, after he finished second in the 400 IM and first in the 200 free earlier this week.
Phelps was matter of fact after touching first: He has been there, won that.
"I was just thinking about this today: This is my fourth Olympic Games in this event, so it's special to me, special to my family, special to my mom," said Phelps, who swam only the 200 fly at the 2000 Games. "I have a couple of weeks to perfect some things that I'm going to need if I want to end with a good one."
Phelps owns every record in the event, including the world record of 1:51.51. He went 1:53.65 on Thursday, which was the fastest time in the world this year but not nearly fast enough for Phelps' liking.
"It's not a good enough time to win a gold medal," Phelps said, "but I think I'm OK with it. ... Today was the best my stroke has felt throughout the whole meet. So all in all, I'm pleased. But I think I need to go faster if I want to win that at the Olympics."
Phelps, of course, won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. He has five more races in the next two days in an attempt to qualify for the 200 IM and 100 fly, which again would give him eight chances to medal in London.
"One of the big things is being able to have this morning off this morning and sort of being able to recover," said Phelps, who scratched the 100 free on Thursday so he could sleep in. "I need more recovery the older I'm getting. My body is in a lot more pain right now.
"But I just felt relaxed tonight. I don't know what it was. I could tell as soon as I jumped in the warm-up pool my strokes just felt more together. My body was moving better."
Dana Vollmer won't compete in the 200 freestyle in London, but her third-place finish Thursday ensures she will swim the 800 free relay. The Granbury graduate finished in 1:57.47 behind Allison Schmitt (1:54.40) and Missy Franklin (1:56.79). "That's what I wanted; I wanted to get on that relay," Vollmer said. "It would have been icing on the cake to [finish] one or two. I put up a good fight, trying to stay with Allison, and then race Missy. But I'm happy with that. It's about what I went at Santa Clara, so time-wise I was hoping that I would be faster. But going into the Olympics, hopefully I'll be a lot faster. I love that relay."
Brett Ringgold, a Keller native who swims for the North Texas Nadadores, finished 95th in the 100 free. He swam a 51.32.
Ryan Lochte swam in the preliminaries of the 100 freestyle, and he qualified for the final by placing fifth in the semifinals. But Lochte scratched the event, putting ninth-place Jason Lezak in the field for tonight's final. "I have a hard double," Lochte said. "I have 200 back, 200 IM [today]. I know I have enough time to do the 100 free, but we already made our plan going into this meet that I was just going to do semifinals of the 100 free, and then, whatever happens happens."
Cammile Adams could join Aggies teammate Breeja Larson at the Olympics, having posted the fastest-semifinal time in the 200 butterfly (2:08.07). Ex-Longhorn Kathleen Hersey had the second-fastest semifinal time (2:08.61). A&M's Caroline McElhany also qualified for tonight's final with the seventh-fastest time (2:10.78).
Three former UT swimmers qualified in the 100 free: Jimmy Feigen posted the second-best semifinal time (48.48); Ricky Berens was fourth (48.85); and Garrett Weber-Gale was seventh (48.98).
Texas ex Brendan Hansen had the third-fastest time in the 200 breaststroke semifinals (2:10.45).
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