AUSTIN, Texas (AP) ― Michael Phelps erased the pool record that was also his first world record with a finish of 1 minute, 54.79 seconds in Sunday’s 200-meter butterfly final.
The 14-time Olympic gold medalist led the entire way, touching the wall ahead of China’s Wu Peng, who finished in 1:56.71, and Neil Caskey in 1:59.82.
“I wanted my record to stand,” Phelps said afterwards. “I wanted the pool record to stand just because that was my first world record.”
Phelps set the old record of 1:54.92 as a 15-year-old in 2001 qualifying for that year’s FINA World Aquatics Championship. He would break his own world record and become world champion for the first time later that summer at the competition in Japan.
“This is kind of where everything started going,” Phelps said. “This is a great pool for me.”
It was the third win for Phelps at the three-day meet, his last before the U.S. Olympic Trials that begin June 25 in Omaha. On Friday, he also won the 100 butterfly and placed second in the 100 freestyle and on Saturday he won the grueling 400 individual medley.
“Over the weekend I hadn’t had that great of swims,” Phelps said. “Hopefully, going into trials we can fix that and be ready like this every day.”