Phelps takes second gold, eyes two more

Columbus Grand Prix

March 11, 2012|Sports Xchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio — — Michael Phelps won his second gold medal of the Columbus Grand Prix by cruising to victory in the 200-meter butterfly Saturday.

His time of 1 minute, 55.17 seconds unofficially is the fastest in the world this year.

"It's my second-fastest in-season time ever," said Phelps, of Baltimore. "I guess I can't complain too much, but I wanted to break [1:55]. There's some little, small stupid things that I shouldn't be making mistakes doing — a couple of walls I was long on and breathing off the first stroke the last two 50s. It wasn't very good."

He went 0:60.36 for the final half of the race at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion at Ohio State.

"My second hundred needs to be under a minute," Phelps said. "That's just what I want to do. The more times I can do that before trials the better off I'll be."

Phelps, 26, began his quest for four gold medals at the Columbus Grand Prix on Friday by winning the 200-meter free with a meet-record time of 1:45.69 — the second-fastest time in the world this season.

The 200 butterfly was Phelps' only event Saturday, but he will compete today in the preliminaries of the 100 free and the 200 backstroke.

His wins are an indication that his intense three weeks of training at altitude in Colorado Springs, Colo., with longtime coach Bob Bowman before coming to Columbus was paying off.

"I'm always pleased when we come down from altitude because we're able to get so much work done up there," he said.

Phelps, sporting a scraggly beard, swam at a comfortable pace Friday in anticipation of a heavier workload the rest of the weekend.

Of course, that's all relative.

He became a worldwide phenomenon by earning a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, pushing his career total to 14.

The following three years were admittedly a letdown, and it's only recently that Phelps has regained the hunger that made him so successful.

"Over the last three years I haven't had fun doing it," he told reporters Thursday. "If I'm having fun, then it's easy.

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