Phelps wins 2 more gold medals in Indianapolis

Michael Phelps posted the fastest times in the world this year in winning two more races at the Indianapolis Grand Prix on Saturday, bringing his gold medal total in the event to five.

Updated: March 06, 2011 13:09 IST
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Indianapolis: Michael Phelps posted the fastest times in the world this year in winning two more races at the Indianapolis Grand Prix on Saturday, bringing his gold medal total in the event to five.

The 14-time Olympic gold medalist won the 200-meter individual medley in 1 minute, 56.88 seconds, and the 100-meter freestyle in 48.89 at the Indiana University Natatorium.

"In my eyes, it just feels good to be able to race and race at a good speed," said Phelps, who didn't win either event in his only other meet this year two months ago in Austin, Texas.

The most highly anticipated race in Indianapolis was the 200 individual medley, pitting Phelps, the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in the event, against his chief rival, world-record holder Ryan Lochte.

Phelps led Lochte by more than eight-tenths of a second at the midway point, extended the margin to nearly 1½ seconds at the third turn and wound up beating the fatigued Lochte by more than two full seconds.

Phelps' time also supplanted Lochte's previous best as the fastest time in the world this season.

Lochte, who finished in 1:59.19, had beaten Phelps in the event at the Austin Grand Prix in January.

"He's back, there's no doubt about it," said Lochte, who was the world's most dominant swimmer in 2010. "I don't think he's ever not there, no matter what he says. I feel like he can step up and race any time."

In the 100 freestyle, Phelps came back from third place with a strong finish to win the gold and set another world-best time this year. Matthew Grevers finished second in 50.01 and Olympic gold medalist Jason Lezak was third in 50.08.

"The last 50 just felt incredible," Phelps said. "I felt like I really was able to build a lot of momentum coming off the wall. You know, I'm never really satisfied, but I am happy to put up the five fastest times in the world here."

Phelps also won the 200 butterfly on Friday night and the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly on Thursday.

Phelps is coming off a somewhat disappointing 2010 in which he lost to Lochte in the 200 individual medley and 200 backstroke finals at the U.S. national championships and only captured five golds at the Pan Pacific championships to Lochte's six.

Even his coach, Bob Bowman, said last September that Phelps was no longer the best swimmer in the world.

Then, at the Austin Grand Prix earlier this year, he was relegated to the consolation final of both the 100 freestyle and 200 freestyle — something that had never happened before in his career.

"After the weekend at Austin, I felt like I didn't get one thing out of it other than feeling slow and out of shape," he said on Saturday. "Being able to slingshot into this meet just shows how fast things can change."

Lochte, meanwhile, struggled this week. He swam two events on Friday and three more on Saturday morning, leaving the three-time Olympic gold medalist exhausted.

He didn't make the final in 100 freestyle and wound up fourth in the consolation final with a 50.78. And though he completed a rare triple on Saturday — swimming the 200 individual medley, the 100 freestyle and the 200 backstroke in consecutive events — he only wound up winning the 200 back in 1:57.63.

"I don't know how that happened there," Lochte said, referring to the win. "I guess out there in Lane 8, the other swimmers didn't see me and I didn't want to hold anything back. Being not shaved and with no suit, I'm really pleased."

On the women's side, Chloe Sutton won the 800 freestyle with a time of 8:29.20. Kate Ziegler was second in 8:29.84 with Katie Hoff third in 8:33.24.

Canadian Erica Morningstar won the women's 200 individual medley in 2:12.59, the top time in the world this year.

Dana Vollmer took the women's 100 freestyle in 54.36, Mate De Angulo won the men's 1,500 freestyle in 15:41.58 and 15-year-old Missy Franklin added the 200 backstroke title to her win Friday in the 100 back.

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