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American Swimmer Michael Phelps Top Competition in the 2012 Olympic Games

Updated on August 4, 2012

Michael Phelps, USA Olympic Swimmer

American Swimmer Phelps Goes for All-Time Olympic Record

Saturday, July 28, 2012 American Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps will begin his quest to become the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. To date, Phelps has captured 16 total Olympic medals (including 14 gold) over three previous Olympic Game competitions held in Sydney, Australia (2000); Athens, Greece (2004); and Beijing, China (2008). He now turns his sites towards surpassing Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's Olympic career record of 18 medals, won during the 1960s. In 2012, Phelps will attempt to win seven Gold medals including four individual events and three relays. In regards to the individual events, Phelps will compete in the 400 IM (Individual Medley), 200 IM, 200 meter Butterfly, and 100 meter Buttefly. This hub highlights Phelps' top five competitors in each of the four individual 2012 Olympic events to be held at the London Aquatic Center.

Ryan Lochte, American Swimmer

Kosuke Hagino, Japanese Swimmer

Men's 400 IM - Swimming - Olympics 2012

Michael Phelps quest to become the most decorated Olympic athlete will begin with the 400 IM. The 400 IM refers to the 400-meter Individual Medley in which each competitor swims eight lengths of the pool while using four different swimming strokes. The four swimming strokes in the 400 IM include the Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, and Freestyle. Of the four individual events, this is the one event Phelps will most likely not win Gold. Fellow American swimmer Ryan Lochte was ranked number 1 in the world going into the Olympic Games. And, Lochte beat Phelps in the event at the 2012 US Olympic trials. According to the World Rankings listed at, Phelps main competition in the 2012 Olympic 400 IM should be:

  • Ryan Lochte (USA)
  • Kosuke Hagino (Japan)
  • Yuya Horihata (Japan)
  • Thomas Fraser-Holmes (Australia)
  • Yang Cheng-Xiang (China)

Update: Phelps struggled to qualify for the finals of this event. In the finals, fellow American Ryan Lochte won the event easily. Phelps finished fourth and failed to make the medal podium for the first time since the 2000 Olympics at age 15 in Sydney, Australia.

Matsuda Takeshi Japanese Swimmer

Chad Le Clos - South Africa - Olympic Gold Medalist

South African swimmer Chad Le Clos was surprised as everyone else when he defeated Michael Phelps in the Men's 200 Butterfly at the 2012 Olympic Games
South African swimmer Chad Le Clos was surprised as everyone else when he defeated Michael Phelps in the Men's 200 Butterfly at the 2012 Olympic Games

Men's 200 Butterfly - Swimming - Olympics 2012

Michael Phelps will continue his quest for Gold in the individual events with the 200 meter Butterfly (fly for short). The 200 fly will begin prelim competition Monday morning, July 30th and culminate Tuesday evening, July 31st. In the 200 Butterfly, each competitor swims four lengths of the pool rotating both arms simulatenously up and over their shoulders while keeping their legs together for the a dolphin-type kick. According to the World rankings going into the competition, Phelps chief rivals in the 200 Butterfly should include:

  • Matsuda Takeshi (Japan)
  • Nick D'Arcy (Australia)
  • Wu Peng (China)
  • Laszlo Cseh (Hungary)
  • Scott 'Tyler' Clary (USA)


Phelps seemed to have this race in the bag with a seemingly comfortable lead on the final 50 meters. But, somehow Phelps' karma may have come back to haunt him as he was surprisingly out touched at the end by South African unknown Chad Le Clos. Phelps was indeed disappointed and settled for the silver medal in the Men's 200 meter Butterfly in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Laszlo Cseh - Hungary

Thiago Pereira - Brazil

Men's 200 IM - Swimming - Olympics 2012

Michael Phelps will swim the 200 IM (Individual Medley) as his third individual Olympic event. In the 200 IM, the Olympic swimming competitors race four lengths of the pool using the same four swim strokes previously described in the 400 IM. Just as in the 400 IM, Phelps is expected to battle fellow American Ryan Lochte for the gold medal in this event. According to the World Rankings posted before the London Olympics, Phelps' potential rivals for medals in the 200 IM could include:

  • Ryan Lochte (USA)
  • Laszlo Cseh (Hungary)
  • Thiago Pereira (Brazil)
  • Markus Deibler (Germany)
  • James Goddard (Great Britain)


Phelps got back on the Gold medal winning track as he easily outpaced fellow American Ryan Lochte to win the Men's 200 Individual Medley at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. It was Phelps 20th individual medal and 16th Olympic Gold medal. With the victory, Phelps became the first person in Olympic history to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics Games. He repeated that feat the following night when he won the Men's 100 meter Butterfly held at the London Aquatic Center.

Milorad Cavic - Serbia

Seeking vengence in 2012
Seeking vengence in 2012

Christopher Wright - Australia

Men's 100 Butterfly - Swimming - Olympics 2012

Michael Phelps' fourth individual swimming competition in the 2012 London Games will be the Men's 100 Butterfly. The 100 Fly begins prelims Thursday morning, August 2nd with the semi-final and final heats held Friday, August 3rd. In this event, the swimmers race two lengths of the pool with the same motion mentioned in the section listed above about the 200 Fly. This event is nearly overlapped with the 200 IM which makes it particularly grueling for Phelps. Moreover, it is in this race that Phelps endured his closest finishes in previous Olympic competition. This was especially so in the 2008 Beijing Games in which he barely out touched Milorad Cavic of Serbia for the Gold. If the World rankings mean anything, Phelps' rival competitors should include:

  • Milorad Cavic (Serbia)
  • Tyler McGill (USA)
  • Christopher Wright (Australia)
  • Laszlo Cseh (Hungary)
  • Takuro Fujii (Japan)


Phelps put the finishing touches on his career as an individual medalist by winning his 21st medal and 17th individual Gold medal. As normal, he raced the first 50 meters in a controlled manner and made the turn 7th out of 8. Like 2008, Milorad Cavic was in a good position at the turn to get revenge for the close call in Beijing. However, Phelps dominated the last half of the race and finished with his easiest victory in the Men's 100 Butterfly. Chad Le Clos of South Africa went with Phelps to finish second, while Cavic faded to third. Phelps was the first swimmer in Olympic history to three peat in 100 Butterfly; it was his second three-peat in as many nights.


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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      You were right on your prediction for this fantastic swimmer. I agree with Frog prince, he is helping his teammates to succeed at being champions.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      7 years ago from Arlington, TX

      If nothing else Phelps will help in challenging his competitors.



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