Michael Phelps qualified eighth-fastest in the 400-meter individual medley preliminaries on Saturday, grabbing the last spot in the evening final.
US swimmer Michael Phelps looks on after competing in the men's 400m individual medley heats swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London. AFP/Martin Bureau
The two-time defending Olympic champion won his heat in 4 minutes, 13.33 seconds with a time that was well off his world record of
4:03.84 set four years ago in Beijing when Phelps won a record eight gold medals.
Kosuke Hagino of Japan led the way in 4:10.01. Chad le Clos of South Africa was second at 4:12.24. American Ryan Lochte advanced in third at 4:12.35.
Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, the silver medalist in Beijing, was ninth and missed the final by one spot.