March 7, 2010
Fourteen-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps came within a half second of the U.S. record in the 200-yard individual medley Saturday, winning in 1 minute, 40.58 seconds in the Maryland swimming championships at the Naval Academy. Phelps had been scheduled to swim in two events Saturday but chose to drop out of the 500 freestyle to concentrate on the 200 IM after swimming a 1:43.99 in his qualifying heat. Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte set the U.S. record of 1:40.08 in the 2007 Short Course Nationals, with Phelps finishing second in 1:41.32. Though he missed breaking Lochte's record, Phelps shaved more than a second off his previous best time of 1:41.6, which he set in 2006. That was a vast improvement from Friday, when Phelps posted a time that was more than three seconds off the U.S. record in the 400-yard IM. "I felt good this morning in the pool. I was able to rest last night, have a good meal, a good night's sleep, and then I was able to come in here and swim my best time by over a second." said Phelps. Phelps is scheduled to swim in the 200 yard butterfly today, a stroke and distance he considers to be his best.
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