Lucky Number Se7en...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Move over Mark Spitz.

Michael Phelps won his seventh gold medal of the Beijing Olympics on Saturday, edging Milorad Cavic by a fingernail, .01 of second in the 100m butterfly on Saturday at the Water Cube.

Phelps, who was seventh out of eight swimmers at the first wall but made up ground with his turn, still looked to be behind Cavic in the final meters but got to the wall first in 50.58 to Cavic's 50.59.

Spitz won his seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Games. Phelps will try to beat the record in the 4x100m medley relay Sunday in the final day of swimming in Beijing.

While the pre-meet, potential upset talk in the 100m fly centered around world-record holder Ian Crocker, California-trained Cavic, who competes for Serbia, surpassed Phelps in the heats as the second-fastest man to swim the event. He nearly spoiled Phelps' chase at history.

Phelps said Cavic's words before the race fueled him.

"Cavic said it would be good for me and good for swimming if he won," Phelps said in an NBC poolside interview after the race. "I'm at a loss for words. I had no idea the race was that close. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the wall first."

Phelps said tying Spitz has been a longtime goal.

"In my dreams I always wanted it," he said. "I thought in the perfect circumstances I could do it."

Spitz marveled at the way Phelps has dealt with all the media attention and pre-Beijing hype since Phelps won six golds in Athens.

"I've always marveled at the fact that in the last four years, he has had to live with a lot more expectations and anxiety that I had to deal with," Spitz said.
[nbc olympics]
[toon by mike luckovich]


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