The story that’s dominated the swimming in Beijing is the great 8 and today Phelps fate was in the hands of his US team mates in the 4 x 100m Medley. They didn’t let him down as Phelps cemented his place in the record books when he picked up his 8th gold medal following a scorching performance from the USA who shaved 1.34 seconds off their own WR. The first lap saw Aaron Peirsol of the USA push in front. At the 200m change Kosuke Kitajima touched the wall first for Japan with Brendan Hansen (USA) and Brenton Rickard (AUS) close behind. Phelps took to the water and propelled in front of Japan and Australia to set the pace for the final lap. Jason Lezak romped home to secure the gold (3:29.34) closely followed by Eamon Sullivan (AUS) at 3:30.04 then Hisayoshi Sato of Japan who picked up Bronze at 3:31.18.
Phelps has won eight gold medals in eight days of swimming in Beijing and in doing so broke seven world records and the Olympic record in the 100m Butterfly where he narrowly missed out on the world record. Phelps is the most decorated athlete in Olympic history with fourteen Olympic gold medals to his name! Speaking about his achievements here in Beijing he said:
“The whole thing, every race, one after the other from wining by one hundredth if a second yesterday, to finishing it off with a world record. It’s an amazing experience and something I’ll have forever”.
Australia put in a thrilling performance today in the Women’s 4 x 100m Relay setting a new WR of 3:52.69 and collecting the gold. Natalie Coughlin got off to a fantastic start for the USA pushing out in front and following the first change Yuliya (RUS), Rebecca Soni (USA) and Leisel Jones (AUS) battled it out with Jones touching the wall first. Jess Schipper kept up the pace for Aussies and had a clear lead at the 300m split. The final stretch saw Libby Trickett (AUS) lead with Torres (USA) pull forward to guarantee the USA the silver (3.53.30). The home crowd cheered as China bagged the bronze at 3:56.11. On setting a new WR Schipper said:
“It’s great to get a world record and by three seconds. We were joking in the marshalling area that we could take a couple of seconds off but when we touched and saw we had done it, it was an amazing feeling”.
Speedo Sponsored athlete Grant Hackett (AUS) picked up the silver medal (14:41.53) in the 1500m Freestyle following an impressive swim. The race was anyones and at the 100m turn Ryan Cochrane (CAN) was leading followed by Grant Hackett (AUS) then Lin Zhang (CHN). These three, all wearing Speedo LZR Racer® dominated the top spots for the first half of the race with Hackett edging in front. By the 900m mark Cochrane and Hackett had stretched into the lead with Oussama Mellouli (TUN) snapping at their heels. With 100m to go Mellouli surged ahead with Hackett and Cochrane grinding out the second spot. After picking up the silver medal Hackett said:
“I’m a little bit tired. That was the second fastest 1500 I have ever done. I felt that I stayed relaxed and I executed the best race possible”.
Dara Torres (USA) showed the young guns that age was no issue today in the Speedo LZR Racer® when she collected the silver in the 50m Freestyle having narrowly missed the gold by a hundredth of a second (24.07).
It’s been an amazing 8 days of swimming, 23 out of 25 WR’s have been won by athletes wearing Speedo LZR Racer® at the Beijing Games (92%).
94% of gold medals at the games have been won in Speedo LZR Racer®.
89% of all medals were won in Speedo LZR Racer®.
Every event in men’s swimming was won by an athlete wearing the Speedo LZR Racer®.
This has been one of the most exciting and possibly THE greatest swimming event of all time and Speedo LZR Racer® has played a part in it. Congratulations to all our athletes on their achievements during the Beijing Games.