Defeat is just Olympic motivation, insists Phelps
Beijing Olympic star Michael Phelps insisted on Sunday he would use his poor form at Berlin's world record-laden shortcourse World Cup meet as future motivation with an eye on the London 2012 Games.india Updated: Nov 16, 2009 07:08 IST
Beijing Olympic star Michael Phelps insisted on Sunday he would use his poor form at Berlin's world record-laden shortcourse World Cup meet as future motivation with an eye on the London 2012 Games.
Phelps won an historic eight gold medals in Beijing last year, but could only manage a second in the 200m individual medley and a fifth in the 200m butterfly this weekend, while failing to reach the final of the 200m freestyle.
While his rivals continue to wear the high-tech swimsuits, the 24-year-old American has worn traditional trunks here and says he will use the poor performances -- by his lofty standards -- to come back stronger.
"I prefer not to lose, but I knew coming in that it would be very, very hard to win anything," Phelps.
"I raced as hard as a I could, I've gotten some racing under my belt and that's we set out to do. Maybe it's better for me that I lost today, it gives me better motivation for the future.
"I am pleased with the week as much as I can be, with how much training I've done, which is little. And it shows."
Phelps' much anticipated showdown with Germany's Paul Biedermann failed to materialise after the American was only the 12th fastest from the 200m freestyle heats while Biedermann swam a new world record in the final.
The German inflicted the first defeat in four years on Phelps in the 200m freestyle final at Rome's World Championships in July and then swam a new world best time of 1 min 39.37sec in Sunday's 200m freestyle final.
In all, 14 shortcourse world records were set over the weekend with the vast majority set by athletes wearing the high-tech swimsuits which will be banned from January 1, 2010.
While Phelps flopped here, fellow Beijing success story Leisel Jones finished the weekend with two new world records after adding 200m breaststroke success on Sunday to her 100m triumph.
The 24-year-old Australian, who won two golds and a silver in Beijing's Water Cube, clinched the 200m breastroke here on Sunday in a time of 2min 15.42sec, taking more than a second off the previous record.
Jones' success came a day after she broke her own world record in the 100m breaststroke.
She clocked 1 min 3.00sec to lower her own mark of 1 min 3.72sec which she set six months ago in Canberra.
"It's been a good weekend, I am just enjoying being fit and I am enjoying racing," said Jones.
Having swum at the Sydney Olympics of 2000 as a 14-year-old, Jones also swum at Athens in 2004 as well as Beijing, but her long-term target is the London Olympics for 2012.
"No Australian has done four Olympics, but I have been pretty lucky as I started when I was 14," said Jones, who won gold in the 100m breaststroke gold and 4x100m medley relay at Beijing plus a silver in the 200m breaststroke.
"I started quite young and I still love the sport. It's still less than three years away, so in terms of training it's not that much time.
"My body knows what it has to do and there is not that much improvement I would need to do for it. It doesn't feel that far away at all."