Sunday, April 01, 2007


MELBOURNE, Australia — Michael Phelps equaled the most hallowed mark in swimming, winning his seventh gold medal at the world championships Sunday night with his fifth world record.

Phelps smashed his own standard in the 400-meter individual medley by 2.04 seconds, becoming the most successful swimmer ever at the worlds.

"This is probably one of the best meets I've ever had," he said. "I'm definitely happy with how it turned out."

The 21-year-old American joined countryman Mark Spitz as the only swimmers to win that many golds at a major international meet. Of course, Spitz' achievement came on the sport's grandest stage _ the Olympics.

Phelps hopes to equal the feat or go one better at next year's Beijing Games.

When a teammate messed up his chance for an eighth gold medal in a relay race he was as gracious as they come saying:

"When Team USA comes into a swim meet, we come as a team and we exit as a team," he said. "There are things that don't happen exactly as we want it to, but it's better to happen now than next year."

How wonderful to see such a fine young person doing so well. All the best in the coming Olympic Games in Beijing, Mr. Phelps.

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