Phelps eager to add to his four gold medals

Friday, March 30, 2007
USA's Michel Phelps races in the men's 100m Butterfly heat at the World Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, March 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Ian Crocker and Michael Phelps passed the first step on the way to their inevitable showdown in the 100-meter butterfly, while French star Laure Manaudou moved closer to a freestyle triple.

Crocker, the world record holder in the 100 fly, put up the best time in the morning preliminaries at 51.44 seconds. Phelps, his American teammate and defending world champion, was third at 51.95.

Both advanced to the evening semifinals. The much-anticipated final is Saturday night.

Phelps already has four gold medals in Melbourne, setting world records in his three individual events. He is hoping to win eight golds in all.

Crocker stands in the way.

"It's an interesting challenge," he said. "I've never had one of this magnitude before. But it's always brought the best out of me."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: