Michael Phelps Qualifies For 400 IM Final By .07 Seconds
Michael Phelps nearly missed his first opportunity at an Olympic medal this morning when he barely qualified for the 400 IM.
Phelps took the eight and final spot this morning by winning his heat against Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh. Phelps touched Cseh out by just .07 seconds.
Phelps may have barely qualified for a spot in tonight’s race, but the multi-medal Olympian said that he’s still hopeful about his chances tonight.
“A final spot is a final spot…. The only thing that matters is getting a spot in. You can’t win a gold medal from the morning…. I didn’t expect those guys to go that fast in the heats.”
Phelps’ teammate Ryan Lochte qualified in the third spot overall but was still unsatisfied with his performance.
“My first race is always the worst one… I’m glad I got the cobwebs out.”
Lochte also said that people shouldn’t count Phelps out of tonight’s race.
The American swimmer added:
“You can’t count him out…. Even though he just squeaked in eighth, he’s a racer. We’re going to do everything we can to go 1-2 tonight.”
USA Today notes that American fans expected the 400 IM to be a head-to-head showdown between Phelps and Locthe tonight, but after the qualifying session Japan’s Kosuke Hagino seems to be the man to beat. Hagino qualified for the first spot with a 4’10.01 time, a national record.
Do you think Michael Phelps will add to his medal count tonight?