Phelps tracks Spitz after sixth gold in record style

British swimming and Michael Phelps had good days at the office here yesterday. Both went to bed dreaming of turning six gold medals into seven. And there the similarities end.

Before day dawned on the Chinese capital this Saturday morning, six was the number of swimming golds won by Britain at the Olympics since the Second World War, with Rebecca Adlington's 800 metres freestyle final to come.

And six was the number won by Phelps. At this Games. Since last Sunday. His 100m butterfly final today, for a magnificent seventh gold, was scheduled, like Adlington's race, for this morning here, the early hours of Saturday in the UK.

The American reached his weekend butterfly race – and a $1m (£537,000) deal for him because of potential bonus payments from Speedo – just a few minutes after he had stepped down from the top of yet another podium.

His sixth gold of these Games, and the 12th of his career, came in the 200m individual medley. The time he clocked to win it was his sixth world record in six finals. He led from the klaxon to the touch, clocking 1min 54.23sec, more than half a second faster than his own previous mark, set at the US Olympic trials earlier this year.

Britain also enjoyed a record-breaking time. In the evening session, the women's 4x100m relay team broke the European record by 0.19sec to qualify second fastest for tomorrow's final. The men's relay team also qualified, in fifth place, for their final tomorrow, the last swimming race at the Water Cube. David Davies qualified, in fifth place, for tomorrow's 1500m freestyle final, in which he won bronze in Athens.

Yet those positive developments are as nothing against one man's assault on history: Phelps's ongoing, mind-boggling, breathtaking achievements in this little stretch of water.

The peerless American already had nicknames before Beijing: the "Baltimore Bullet" and "Superfish" were two of them. Now he is also The Gooat (Greatest Olympian of all time), although there are those who dispute it. Arguments against his case can only be dented with more metal before the end of the Games. By then he wants to be The Gooatee – ever� providing the supplementary letters.

Yesterday morning's win moved him to within a solitary victory of equalling Mark Spitz's seven golds at one Games. Phelps's rivals can only get churned about like so much laundry in his wake. The 6ft 4in calorie furnace was a whopping 2.29sec ahead of Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, who took the medley silver in a European record-breaking time. And Cseh was just 0.01sec ahead of Phelps's compatriot Ryan Lochte, who took bronze. Cseh and Lochte are no mugs. Lochte had earlier won the 200m backstroke in a world record time. Cseh is the best that the European continent can muster in several disciplines. If Phelps had not been here, Cseh would almost certainly have won three gold medals this week. But Phelps – or Moo (Man of the Olympics) – has now beaten him into silver place in two individual medleys and the 200m fly.

Phelps was happy to deal with inevitable questions that his feats are too good to be true. He knows his freakishly proportioned body and an unmatched thirst for the success that his hard work brings are what propel him. "I know that I am clean," he said, in response to a question about drugs. "I did 'Project Believe' with USADA [US Anti-Doping Agency] where I purposely wanted to do more tests to prove that. People can question all they want but the facts are facts and I have the results to prove it."�

Project Believe is a voluntary programme where the participants provide additional blood and urine samples beyond regular testing. Phelps is also featured in the "My Victory"� campaign, encouraging young athletes to take a pledge against doping. He admitted his natural talent was not enough to succeed. "I have to work on speed and endurance and all four strokes. I need the speed to get the starts and the endurance to carry it through. You can't do it on talent alone. A lot of hard work, a lot of dedication."

Britain's Davies will have his work cut out to match his Athens bronze after his 1500m heat became the fastest ever. "Unbelievable,"� he said. "It's going to be tough in the final." The world record holder, Australia's Grant Hackett, lowered the Olympic record to 14:38.92 to qualify fastest, with Ryan Cochrane, of the US, second and Russia's Yuriy Prilukzov third in a European record.

Earlier, Britain's Fran Halsall finished eighth in the 100m freestyle final, as did Gregor Tait in the 200m backstroke. James Goddard and Liam Tancock were among those trailing far behind Phelps in his final. Like most people these days.

What I had for breakfast today

The revelation that the swimmer Michael Phelps eats a monstrously large breakfast, rich in foods we thought were bad for us, has prompted an 'Independent' survey into what the athletes are starting their days with in Beijing:

*Michael Phelps, US swimmer

Three fried egg sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, fried onions and mayonnaise
Three chocolate-chip pancakes
Five-egg omelette
Three sugar-coated slices of French toast
Bowl of grits
Two cups of coffee

*Karina Bryant, British judoka

Breakfast before her bout yesterday consisted of:
Cereal with milk
Scrambled eggs
Toast
Yogurt
One banana

*David Price, British boxer

The 25-year-old super heavyweight from Liverpool is Britain's heaviest fighter and is now the best hope for gold. He is not a big fry-up man (unlike Audley Harrison, who had the full Monty before he won his Olympic gold in Sydney).

He says: "I don't overeat even when I'm not in training, because I want to stay lean and mean, not like some of the heavyweights around." On Monday when he next fights, he says he may have:
A small fillet steak topped by a poached egg
Cornflakes with skimmed milk
Lots of fruit
Fruit juice (but no tea or coffee)
Toast and jam

*Paula Radcliffe, British marathon runner

Pre-breakfast: One lemon (which she sucks to reduce the build-up of lactic acid)
Wheatgrass juice
One small energy bar

She then goes on the first of her two daily training runs. After this comes her breakfast proper:

Porridge
Banana
Honey

*Khalid Yafai, British boxer

The 19-year-old flyweight from Birmingham, who makes his Olympic debut today, is the lightest boxer in the British team:

One piece of fresh fruit
One slice of wholewheat toast
One boiled egg
Mineral water

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit