Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

  • Netherlands to honour MH17 victims in national day of mourning

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Israel hits Gaza targets despite diplomatic push for ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

Biedermann triumphs in 200m freestyle, breaks Phelps' record

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-29

Germany's Paul Biedermann not only delivered Michael Phelps (pictured) first defeat since 2005 in winning the 200m freestyle, he also broke Phelps’ world record. Four world records were smashed at the Rome championships on Tuesday alone.

AFP - Michael Phelps's run of global invincibility ended on Tuesday as Germany's Paul Biedermann seized the 200m freestyle world title and world record from the US Olympic superstar.
   
Biedermann handed Phelps his first individual defeat in world and Olympic competition since 2005, triumphing in 1min 42.00sec.
   
"It's amazing to beat Michael Phelps," said Biedermann, who broke the world record of 1:42.96 Phelps set in winning gold at the Beijing Games.
   
"I was there in Beijing when he won his eight gold medals and it was a great moment for me to live this moment," Biedermann said. "Now that I'm faster than him, it was a dream for me and I feel absolutely great about this."
   
Phelps settled for silver in 1:43.22, with Hungary's Danila Izotov third in 1:43.90.
   
The American got off the blocks quickest, but Biedermann had seized the lead by the first turn and never gave it back. He touched the final wall nearly a body length in front of Phelps.
   
"It was a really amazing race, I spoke to my trainer before and he said Michael beats you on the start and the turns so the only way to beat him is in swimming, and I think I did it really well," Biedermann said.
   
Phelps, whose eight gold medals in Beijing were an Olympic record, and took his career tally to 14, hadn't been beaten in individual world or Olympic competition since losing to Ian Crocker in the 100m fly final at the 2005 Worlds in Montreal.
   
He was 10-for-10 since then, winning five individual events at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne and five in Beijing.
   
Phelps, who took six months off after the Beijing Games, the longest break of his competitive career, tried to be philosophical, but it was clear the defeat stung.
   
"Theoretically that was a pretty good swim for me," the 24-year-old said. "Three-tenths off my best time after taking six months off.
   
"I'm not happy, but I know I didn't train much this year. For right now I'll take it - but I'm not pleased."
   
Biedermann's performance followed his 400m freestyle triumph, in which he erased the iconic world record set by Australian Ian Thorpe in 2002.
   
The German acknowledged after that race that he believed his high-tech bodysuit made a difference of some two seconds for him in the 400m free.
   
Phelps wore a waist-to-legs version of the Speedo LZR, last year's groundbreaking suit that has been overtaken by new technology.
   
But Biedermann insisted it wasn't just about the controversial suits - which are to be banned next year.
   
"Yes, it makes me faster of course but what can I do?" he said. "The suit is one thing."
   
He said Thorpe had contacted him since Sunday and told him "It wasn't only the suit, it was you."
   
"This gave me the power to swim again and I'm really thankful to Ian Thorpe that he gave this message to me," Biedermann said.
   
Phelps didn't have time to dwell on the defeat as he returned to the water for the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly and notched the second-fastest time heading into Wednesday's final behind Japan's Olympic bronze medallist Takeshi Matsuda.
   
Biedermann's was the first of four world records on Tuesday, taking the total from three days of swimming to 15.
   
Britain's Gemma Spofforth won the women's 100m backstroke title in a world record 58.12. Russian Anastasia Zueva had set the previous record of 54.48 in the semi-finals on Monday, but her 58.18 was only good enough for silver. Australia's Emily Seebohm was third in 58.88.
   
Italian fans were treated to a home world record and a world title - from two different swimmers.
   
Alessia Filippi captured the women's 1,500m freestyle title in 15:44.93, ahead of Denmark's Lotte Friis and Romanian Camelia Potec.
   
Federica Pellegrini lowered her own world record in the 200m free with a time of 1:53.67 in the semi-finals, and South Africa's Cameron Van Der Burgh clocked a world record of 26.74sec in the men's 50m breaststroke semi-finals.
   
Junya Koga won the men's 100m backstroke in 52.26sec. Germany's Helge Meeuw, sixth at the turn, rallied to take silver in 52.54 and former world record-holder Aschwin Wildeboer of Spain was third in 52.64.
   
American Rebecca Soni, who set a world record in the 100m breaststroke semis on Monday couldn't repeat the feat, but she captured the world title in 1:04.93.

Date created : 2009-07-28

COMMENT(S)