Peirsol Beats Phelps for World Record

August 20th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Peirsol Beats Phelps for World Record

American Aaron Peirsol defeated Michael Phelps by 2.37 seconds with a world record in the 200-meter backstroke at the Pan Pacific Championships on Saturday night.

Peirsol touched in 1 minute, 54.44 seconds - 0.22 seconds better than the mark he set at last year's world championships in Montreal.

"This is probably the best swim of my life," he said.

He checked the scoreboard, pumped his right arm and reached over the lane line to slap Phelps on the back as the six-time Olympic gold medalist looked away.

"Today was my day," Peirsol said. "I respect him for being in this race."

It's an event Peirsol has dominated since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the last time he lost a 200. He won the 100 back Thursday.

It was Phelps' first loss of the four-day meet, having won gold medals in the 200 butterfly, 400 individual medley and 800 free relay.

He was timed in 1:56.81. Tomomi Morita of Japan took the bronze.

"I knew I had enough energy to bring it home," Peirsol said. "I saw Michael next to me and I knew I had to start opening some distance. Without anyone next to me, I wouldn't have done that."

Told his winning margin was more than 2 1/2 seconds, Peirsol said, "I didn't clobber anybody. It's not everyday you have that much energy to pull away from that guy."

It was the third world record of the meet, which ends Sunday. Phelps set a record in the 200 butterfly Thursday, while Jess Schipper of Australia did the same in the women's race.

Schipper completed a sweep of the women's butterfly events, winning the 100 in a Pan Pac record time of 57.30 seconds. Americans Rachel Komisarz and Mary Descenza were second and third.

Schipper set the meet's first world record Thursday in the 200 fly.

Ai Shibata of Japan defeated American Katie Hoff in the 400 freestyle. Shibata powered past Hoff in the final few meters and touched in 4:07.61.

It was Hoff's first loss in three individual races, and her third individual medal. She anchored the U.S. women to a gold in the 800 free relay Friday.

"Overall, I'm definitely happy with my performance," she said. "Today wasn't as good as I wanted, but I can't be mad at a silver."

Tae Hwan Park of South Korea won the men's 400 free in 3:45.72, overtaking American Klete Keller on the last lap. Keller faded to third, earning a bronze to go with the gold he won in the 200 free.

"It was just a bad race. My grandma can swim faster," he said. "I had one good race and one bad one, so I guess I broke even."

Similar Topics
New world record!