Source: Xinhua

08-10-2008 12:44

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps Sunday defended his Olympic title in the men's 400 meters individual medley with a new world record.

Michael Phelps of the United States reacts during the awarding ceremony of the men’s 400m individual medley at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. Phelps set a new world record and won the gold medal in the event with 4 minutes 3.84 seconds. (Xinhua/Fan Jun) (Xinhua Photo)
Michael Phelps of the United States reacts during 
the awarding ceremony of the men’s 400m individual 
medley at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in the 
National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water 
Cube in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. Phelps set 
a new world record and won the gold medal in the 
event with 4 minutes 3.84 seconds. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

Phelps stormed to touch the wall first with a time of four minutes 3.84 seconds, shaving 1.41 seconds off his own world record set at the Olympic swimming trials in July.

Hungarian Laszlo Cseh won silver in 4:06.16. Phelps's teammate, Ryan Lochte, who is seen as a consistent silver medalist in his competition against Phelps, was edged to the third place.

"It's a tough race the whole way through. That's a pretty emotional race," Phelps said after the race. "It wasn't comfortable in a close race the first 200 meters, but my breaststroke is stronger."

Michael Phelps of America competes during the men's 400m individual medley final of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China, August 10, 2008. Michael Phelps won in a world record time of 4:03.84. (Xinhua/Chen Kai)
Michael Phelps of America competes during the men's 400m individual 
medley final of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at National Aquatics 
Center in Beijing, China, August 10, 2008. Michael Phelps won in a 
world record time of 4:03.84. (Xinhua/Chen Kai)

Phelps, known as the "Baltimore Bullet," is expected to break Mark Spitz's record of seven golds at a single Summer Games. At the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne, he became the only swimmer to set five world records at one international event.