Michael Phelps races against a great white shark: Who won? Watch video | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Michael Phelps races against a great white shark: Who won? Watch video

Michael Phelps, a man who has dominated the world of swimming for years, finally met his match in a great white shark.

other sports Updated: Jul 25, 2017 10:30 IST
Michael Phelps lost a “race” against a great white shark in a swim-off in South Africa.
Michael Phelps lost a “race” against a great white shark in a swim-off in South Africa.(Getty Images)

Michael Phelps, the greatest Olympian of modern times, has finally met his match in a swim-off against the greatest predator in the oceans, the great white shark.

But many viewers of the Discovery Channel’s much-publicized race between man and beast found the result to be a little fishy.

Touted as “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White,” the face-off in the chilly, shark-rich waters off South Africa was the launchpad for the channel’s annual Shark Week series of shows.

Michael Phelps, who has won 28 Olympic medals including 23 golds, noted before the event that his safety was the number one priority going into the race, and said before the broadcast that he did not actually enter the water with the shark he was racing.

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Instead, the film crew shot footage of a shark speeding along the same stretch of water as Michael Phelps, who swam the course at a different time under the supervision of marine experts and divers.

The filmmakers used special effects to splice the two together, so it looked as though the American swimmer was racing alongside the huge predator.

Despite being fitted with a special monofin to help propel him through the water, Phelps lost by two seconds to the shark, which put on a final spurt as it closed in on a seal.

After his narrow defeat, Phelps demanded a rematch but in more favourable conditions.

Many viewers of the show also took to social media to express their disappointment, having apparently believed Phelps would actually be racing a shark in real time.

Others, however, expressed surprise that anyone would have believed a real one-on-one between man and shark would have been possible.