Phelps just one of the stars of Olympic swimming

Michael Phelps will put the final gloss on a glittering Olympic career at the London Games, but he's not the only star set to shine when competition begins on Saturday at the Aquatics Centre.

Phelps's unprecedented eight gold medals at the Beijing Games led the United States to a 31-medal haul in 2008, including 12 golds from the 32 events, nine silver and 10 bronze.

Phelps won't try to match that feat, but his seven-event programme gives him plenty of room to make more Games history and anchor a US team out to continue its dominance against traditional rival Australia and rising powers such as China.

Phelps is the two-time defending champion in all four of his individual events -- the 100m and 200m butterfly and 200m and 400m individual medley.

No male swimmer has won the same Olympic event at three successive Games, giving Phelps another milestone to aim for.

Japan's Kosuke Kitajima is also eyeing a golden treble after winning back-to-back 100-200m breaststroke doubles in 2004 and 2008.

One of Phelps's biggest challengers figures to be team-mate Ryan Lochte, who has emerged as a serious threat in both medleys.

But Phelps says they can't afford to overlook anyone.

"Ryan and I aren't here just racing each other," he said. "We're racing the whole world."

Adds US men's head coach Gregg Troy: "It's a pretty big world."

"There's a lot of good swimmers out there. I think if we take anything lightly we're making mistakes."

Australia is bringing in the big artillery with James "The Missile" Magnussen and James "The Rocket" Roberts, in the prestigious 100m freestyle.

Magnussen is the 100m free world champion and the fastest man ever in a textile suit with a 47.10sec and is odds-on favorite to give Australia the gold in the sport's blue riband event and lead them to victory in the coveted 4x100m free relay.

The US have a "Missile" of their own, however, in 17-year-old Missy Franklin, who is set to become the first US woman to swim seven events at one Games.

Franklin has downplayed comparisons to Phelps, but US women's head coach Teri McKeever thinks the youngster has what it takes to be a force on the Olympic scene and part of "the next generation of great swimmers".

"The US are the big challenge. They have dominated swimming for 100 years," acknowledges Australian head coach Leigh Nugent. "There are other players who are making it tougher for us to stay in that number two position."

Without a doubt that includes China, who claimed just one gold medal at the Water Cube four years ago, but have since grabbed four golds at the 2009 world championships and five at the 2011 worlds in Shanghai.

Sun Yang was a star in Shanghai, breaking Aussie Grant Hackett's iconic 1500m freestyle world record.

Ye Shiwen won the women's 200m medley world title, part of a strong Chinese showing that had head coach Yao Zhengjie speaking of Olympic "breakthroughs" in London.

China's Wu Peng signalled his intentions in May with a confidence-building 200m fly victory over Phelps at a Grand Prix meeting in the United States.

South Korea's Park Tae-Hwan, defending his 400m freestyle title from Beijing, gives Asia another contender.

Hosts Britain, who saw Rebecca Adlington end a 48-year drought for British women swimmers with her 400m and 800m freestle titles in Beijing, will hope to see her repeat in home waters.

Elsewhere in Europe, Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands owns the fastest times in the world this year in the 50m and 100m freestyle.

In the 200m free, 2008 gold medallist Federica Pellegrini faces a strong challenge from France's Camille Muffat, whose time of 1:54.66 is the fastest ever in the textile suits now mandated by FINA.

The ban on polyurethane "supersuits" means that racing, not records, will be at the fore.

"We're back to a little more true sport," US coach Troy said.

Even so, world records aren't out of the question, although no one expects to approach the 25 set in Beijing.

Australian coach Michael Bohl predicted "three or four" world marks might fall.

"You're probably going to see a couple," Phelps predicted, noting that the Olympics still energize swimmers like no other event.

"This is the Olympic Games, the biggest of the big," Phelps said. "It's the Super Bowl of swimming."


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine troops end offensive they say killed 139 rebels
    Philippine troops end offensive they say killed 139 rebels

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A monthlong Philippine offensive against hard-line Muslim rebels ended Monday after 139 insurgents were killed, 12 others were captured and bomb-making strongholds were seized by troops, the military chief said. …

  • Developers prepare for new rules and regulations
    Developers prepare for new rules and regulations

    Known as the "Subdivision and Condominium Buyers' Protective Decree," Presidential Decree No. 957 issued two sets of revised implementing rules and regulations (IRRs) earlier in 2015. A bill initiated by former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1976, the decree and its most recent amendments were designed to "protect buyers from fraudulent and unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers, operators and developers," according to the explanatory note that accompanied the bill in its senate …

  • ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’
    ‘Get SAF 44 killers before BBL passage’

    Lawmakers are demanding the arrest of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters involved in the killing of 44 policemen in Mamasapano before the approval of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in Congress. Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, chairman of the 75-member ad hoc committee in the House of Representatives deliberating on the BBL, prodded the Department of Justice (DOJ) to speed up its investigation and file charges against the MILF guerrillas as the Aquino administration …

  • Pinoys dance for Earth Hour
    Pinoys dance for Earth Hour

    The Philippines once again displayed its support Saturday night for the worldwide observance of Earth Hour by hosting a dance party after turning the lights off from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. to save energy and make a statement on various environmental issues. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said widespread participation proved anew that no individual action on climate change is too small and that no collective vision is too big with celebrations in over 7,000 hubs in 170 countries. The WWF said …

  • Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China
    Phl offers Sabah to win Malaysia’s support for UN case vs China

    The Philippines has offered to downgrade its claim on Sabah in exchange for Malaysia’s support for its case against China before the United Nations. The quid pro quo was contained in a note verbale the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) handed to a representative of the Malaysian embassy last week, a week after the visit of Malaysian Defense Minister Dato  Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein. The note verbale, a copy of which was obtained by VERA Files, referred to the May 6, 2009 joint submission …

  • Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday
    Maysak to enter Phl Wednesday

    A typhoon with international name Maysak is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday and bring rains over Northern Luzon by weekend, the state weather bureau said yesterday. Aldczar Aurelio, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the typhoon was 2,810 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 10 a.m. yesterday. “This typhoon is still too far to affect any part of the country,” the weather …

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options