Michael Phelps, Oldest Olympic Swim Champ In History, Gold No20: Shere Khan Bites Back

Michael Phelps on his way to his third gold in five Olympic 200m butterfly finals - by Patrick B. Kraemer
Michael Phelps on his way to his third gold in five Olympic 200m butterfly finals - by Patrick B. Kraemer

This was the rematch, the revenge indeed, we thought we would never see. Four years ago, it was Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:52.96, Michael Phelps (USA), the 2004 and 2008 champion, 1:53.01. And then he was back: The GOAT, with Boomer Bob hearing the boom and roar of it all up in the stands. Rio2016; 1:53.36 Michael Phelps (USA) Gold 1:53.40; Masato Sakai (JPN) Silver; 1:53.62 Tamas Kenderesi (HUN) Bronze; 1:54.06 Chad Le Clos (RSA) – Never. Poke. A. Stick. At. The. Tiger. Never. But, Never, Ever. In victory Phelps became the oldest Olympic swimming champion in history. It was 1920 in Antwerp when the father of surfing Duke Kahanamoku, of Hawaii, set a world record for Olympic gold in the 100m freestyle to celebrate his 30th birthday. Phelps turned 31 on June 30.

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Comments

ITR

Anthony Ervin won gold as part of the 4×100 free relay, I thought he was the oldest?!

aswimfan

These Japanese swimmers are still young. Hagino, Seto, Sakai, Watanabe (both male and female), Koseki, Ikee.

They will be ready in Tokyo.

aswimfan

Yes, Ervin is the oldest Olympics swimming champion.

aswimfan

I wonder if Zhou Yilin and Zhang Yufei will pull a classic Zige-Liuyang combo in the final.

I hope not. I really want Belmonte to finally win a major gold.

Tony McKinnon

Australian coaches not to swim Cam McEvoy tonight in the 4×200 cost Australia and the men who swam magnificently tonight a silver medal.
Another dumb decision.

Bad Anon

Phelps is simply the greatest of all time. we are incredibly privileged to witness these epic moments in our time…

aswimfan

I heard McEvoy is sick. Is that true?

But yeah, if healthy mcevoy swum in that 4×200 instead of Daniel Smith, Australia would have gotten silver.

commonwombat

Reports are that McEvoy has a cold. Was a little sniffly in his post race interview after 100 semis. If this is the case, then I understand the risk management decision behind the ‘call’.

When you’re under the weather, your recovery is going to be compromised. He already has a 100 semi in that session which he may/may not have had to go full revs or near to. He then empties his tank in the relay …. what’s the price tag going to be with regards to his 100 final tomorrow night ?

Put him into that relay and yes, they may have snagged a medal; maybe silver but more likely bronze. Remember his track record in this relay … he has NEVER split sub 1.46 and tends to “die hard”. You potentially pick up a minor medal here but is the price of a significant hit to his chances of gold in the 100 worth paying ?

Whether it was the right choice, we may need to wait until tomorrow night but I do understand the reasoning behind it

longstroke

The omission of Jack Conger from the American team in the 4X200FS was unprincipled in my opinion. He was third at trials; he swam the fastest split in the preliminaries. He deserved it. But he was sacrificed to accommodate Phelps and Lochte. Obviously Bob Bowman thinks protecting their legacy overrides merit and fairness. Many would say that doing a 1.45.25 split after winning gold in the 200BF adds to the Phelps legend and vindicates the decision. I certainly give Phelps credit for a remarkable performance. But I still think Conger was wrongfully denied his opportunity. The 1.46 split by Lochte underlines it.

Is Cameron McEvoy not quite at his best here? Even a mediocre low 1.46 split would have given Australia the silver if he had been in instead of Smith.

aswimfan

longstroke,

As a swimming fan, it was a delight for me to watch Lochte-Phelps combo in the relay. Perfect 🙂
It’s almost like Bowman knows what swimming fans want to see… it was an all out fan service 🙂

aswimfan

Also, Conger get to receive the gold anyway, although he missed out on the experience being on top of podium.

That, is, priceless.

So yeah, I can understand the sentiment of Conger supporters.

commonwombat

Longstroke, I certainly get where you’re coming from re the Phelps inclusion and can’t help having somewhat conflicted as to whether it was the right or just move. His inclusion certainly was not necessary for the USA to win that race.

Hard to know in just what shape McEvoy has been in. His 4×100 split suggested something 47mid-high; has this cold taken a further edge off ?

They had to make a risk management based call re his inclusion in the 4×200. Is strengthening one’s hand in a race that you AREN’T going to win worth compromising one’s chances in a race you CAN ?

aswimfan

CW,
judging by Chalmer’s swims, don’t you think the coaches should have selected Chalmers in place of Smith?

He was 1:47 flat start at national age group two weeks before the trials, he could be at least 1:46.00 flying start, no?

longstroke

I certainly agree that Chalmers should have been selected for the 4X200FS given his low 1.47 off a flat start and given his record of delivering when it counts. I did say earlier the ideal team for me would have been Fraser Holmes – McEvoy – Horton – Chalmers. OK, McEvoy wasn’t 100% and the coaches decided not to risk him. But with Chalmers in instead of Smith Australia would most likely have won silver with bronze the absolute minimum.

aswimfan

Yup, also, the coaches need not worry about recovery. Chalmers is only 18, his recovery turnaround should be fast.

commonwombat

Chalmers to the 4×200 ….certainly an option to consider. He did swim that 1.47 at Age Nats but didn’t swim it at Trials. He and his coach may not have been tapped post Trials that he may be co-opted for this relay and therefore one would have to think all his work has been centred on the 100.

His one international outing in the 4×200 was at last year’s World Juniors where he “crashed and burned” to a 1.50 !Granted he’s matured since then AND I certainly agree there was a case to be made for his inclusion.

Its just that its not just a matter of assuming these moves are “magic bullets” that are sure-fire guaranteed to pay off; there were also some sound reasons not to. McEvoy has similarly “crashed and burned” in this relay whilst still throwing down stellar times in the 100 & other relays.

Not an open and shut case either way, folks

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