Michael Phelps sets his sights on gold despite poor medal haul for USA

 

Michael Phelps is aiming for gold in tonight's 200m butterfly final even though he has not yet won a medal during the London 2012 Olympics.

Talk in some quarters of the American going for seven gold medals prior to the Games was too ambitious, partly due to the fact that time has caught up with Phelps to some degree, as have many of his swimming rivals.

The reality is Phelps should have a gold around his neck from the 4x100m freestyle but the United States selectors potentially made an error in selecting Ryan Lochte for their quartet when the Floridian is far from a 100m freestyle specialist.

There are no sour grapes on Phelps’s part. He cut a relaxed figure after qualifying for the final of the 200m butterfly last night by winning his semi-final.

There has been much talk of first and lasts at what will be his final swimming championships and also about enjoying himself.

After his semi-final, he admitted he had almost been capturing the atmosphere of the occasion too readily by checking his times during the race.

“I did something that I don’t do in butterfly,” the 27-year-old said. “I tried to see what my 100m split was, which is not really like me. I knew we were all together but I wanted to swim a controlled race and swim comfortably. I was fine with that.”

Phelps’s hopes of picking up a medal in his previous event, the 400m individual medley on Saturday, were heavily diminished when he only snuck into the final as the slowest qualifier and had to start one of his flagship races in lane eight.

And after last night’s swim, he said: “I wanted to pull myself up and not be in lane eight for the final but somewhere closer to the middle.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor