Eric Draper.

American swimmer Michael Phelps, 23, has set a new record for the most gold medals won in one Olympic games by winning his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympic games, beating the previous world record of seven that was set by Mark Spitz in the 1972 Olympic Games, which took place in Munich, Germany.

Phelps’ eighth medal was won in the final of the men’s 4 x 100m medley relay. In addition to Phelps, Aaron Piersol, Brendan Hansen, and Jason Lezak were in the winning Olympic team, which had a time of 3:29.34, which was a new world record. In seven of his eight races, Phelps set or contributed to a new world record time. He set an Olympic record time in the remaining race.

“With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination,” said Phelps after realizing he had set the new medals record. “There are so many emotions going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom.”

“Without the help of my team-mates this isn’t possible,” he continued. “I was able to be a part of three relays and we were able to put up a solid team effort and we came together as one unit. For the three Olympics I’ve been a part of, this is by far the closest men’s team that we’ve ever had. I didn’t know everybody coming into this Olympics, but I feel going out I know every single person very well. The team that we had is the difference.”

Grant Hackett, an Australian swimmer, praised Phelps for achieving his goal. “Michael Phelps – you can’t put it in words what he has done here, his level of achievement is phenomenal and I don’t think it will ever be seen again.”

Source : wikinews

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US swimmer Michael Phelps claims his seventh gold medal Mark Spitz has no qualms about handing over his 36-year title of king of the Olympic pool to Michael Phelps, calling him the best ever.

Phelps, 23, on Saturday matched Spitz’s record of winning seven gold medals at one Olympics with a fingertip victory in the men’s 100 metre butterfly final.

This not only puts him on a par with Spitz’s record but also gives him a shot at topping that by bagging an eighth gold when he competes in his final event on Sunday, the 4×100 medley relay.

“I think that he can be called, Michael, the best Olympian of all time, more so not because he has more gold medals than anybody but in the way he’s handled himself and in the way he’s actually won under a tremendous amount of pressure,” Spitz told United States television network NBC.

Spitz, 58, said he always knew someone would eventually match the benchmark he set at 1972 Munich Games.

He called Phelps’s performance “epic” and said the Baltimore native represents “an inspiration to youngsters around the world”.

As Phelps has bagged gold after gold at Beijing, the world’s media had been hunting for Spitz to get his reaction to the swimmer attacking his record after 36 years.

There were rumours that he was in Beijing, then that he was in Hong Kong, and then that he was at home in California.

However it turned out he was in Detroit, watching one of his two sons play in a basketball tournament.

After Saturday’s race Phelps told NBC that he thought he had lost the race that earned him a extra $US1 million from sponsor Speedo, which promised him a bonus if he matched Spitz’s record.

“As soon as I took the last half stroke, to be honest, I thought I had lost the race,” he told the US network that bought exclusive broadcasting rights to the August 8-24 Games.

“And that was the difference, ’cause if I would have glided then I would have come up short. I’ve been lucky enough over the last four years to have two pretty good finishes in Olympic finals. I guess I’m blessed.”

Whether he wins an eighth gold medal or not, Phelps will leave Beijing as the most successful Olympian of all time.

By Saturday he had lifted his gold medal tally to 13, which tops the previous record of nine held jointly by Spitz, U.S. sprinter Carl Lewis, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi and Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina.

Source : abc.net.au /Reuters

The United States, led by Michael Phelps, have smashed the world record to win the 4x200m relay with Australia winning bronze.

It was the fifth gold medal in the four days of the meet for Phelps so far and his 11th career Olympic gold.

He remains on track for a record eight swimming gold medals at one Olympic Games.

The Americans led all the way and finished several body lengths in front of Russia, who just pipped Australia for bronze.

The Australian quartet of Patrick Murphy, Grant Hackett, Grant Brits and Nick Ffrost were pushed hard in the final stages by Italy. But Ffrost, swimming the anchor leg, responded to hold third place.

The American quartet of Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay broke the world record by more than four seconds, hitting the wall in 6:58.56. Russia was second in 7:03.70.

Source : abc.net.au

Michael Phelps wins the men's 200m butterfly gold medal American wunderkind Michael Phelps became the most successful Olympian in history with 11 gold medals after victory in the 200 metres butterfly and 4x200m relay finals at the Water Cube.

The 23-year old won his fourth gold medal of the Beijing Games in another world record performance of 1:52.03, improving on his time of 1:52.09 set at last year’s world championships in Melbourne.

Phelps then backed up an hour later to lead off the American relay team which smashed its own world record to win the 4x200m final.

The superfish has added to the six gold medals he won in Athens and overtakes the legendary group of Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Paavo Nurmi and Larysa Latynina, who each won nine Olympic golds.

The wins also keep alive Phelps’s bid to surpass Spitz’s seven gold medals at a single Games set at Munich in 1972.

Phelps finished more than half-a-second ahead of Hungarian Laszlo Cseh in the 200m fly, who touched in 1:52.70.

Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda took bronze in a time of 1:52.97.

Phelps says the enormity of his achievements is beginning to sink in.

“When I was on the award ceremony for the 200 fly, I started thinking about it.

“That’s when I started tearing up.

“To be at the top with so many great athletes who’ve walked in these Olympic games, it’s a pretty amazing feeling.”

Phelps’s triumph in the event in which he has owned the world record since 2001 was not the same kind of dominant display as his victory in the 200m freestyle on Tuesday, but he said there was a reason for that.

“My goggles were filling up with water during the race, and I had trouble seeing the wall,” he said.

“I wanted the world record. I wanted a 1:51 or better, but given the circumstances it’s not too bad, I guess.”

With the relay final scheduled later in the session, Phelps had no time to contemplate his place in history.

“He won’t appreciate the history of what is happening here until later, maybe years later,” Phelps’s coach Bob Bowman said.

Prior to Wednesday’s finals, Phelps had won the 400m individual medley, 200m freestyle and was a member of the United States 4x100m relay team that took gold ahead of France in a stunning final.

He still has the 4x100m medley relay, 200m individual medley and 100m butterfly on his program, but has said with the gruelling 400m IM and relay wins, the hardest part of his eight-gold quest is behind him.

Latynina and fellow Soviet gymnast Nikolai Andrianov hold the record for the most medals in all, with 18 for women and 15 for men respectively, but with at least one more Games left in him Phelps could break all records.

Source –ABC