phelps smashes 400 medley world record

Michael Phelps got this Olympic challenge underway in the best possible way on the first evening of the US Olympic trials in long Beach California, as he smashed his own world record in the 400IM, the very first event of the eight day meet.
Phelps posted a time of 4:08.41, knocking 0.68s off his previous mark of 4:09.09 set in the final at last year’s World Championships in Barcelona. The teenage phenomenon was just behind his world record pace after the fly, splitting 55.66, but surged through on the first half of the backstroke leg which he completed in 1:02.19. From that point on he was ahead of the required times at every turn, recording splits of 1:12.90 for the breaststroke and 57.66 for the freestyle sections.
Elsewhere there was some extremely fast swimming as the US team looked to put down a marker ahead of the Athens Games. Brendan Hansen’s time of 1:00.13 in the 100m breaststroke semi finals was a new American record and now ranks him second in the world this year, behind Britain’s Darren Mew. Meanwhile 15-year-old Katie Hoff, perhaps inspired by Phelps’ escapades, set the worlds fastest time this year for the 400 medley with 4:37.67. Klete Keller removed Phelps’ name from the record books as he carved over 2 seconds off the American record for the 400 free in 3:44.19 – the world’s second fastest of the year.