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Phelps pulled away after the final flip to win in 1:52.20 -- just 11-hundredths over the mark of 1:52.09 he set while winning seven gold medals at last year's world championships. In the stands, his mother Debbie let out a "Ohhhh!" when she saw his time go up.
"My butterfly has felt better this year than it ever has," Phelps said. "I'm not sure if I was too conservative going out. The first 100 didn't feel like it normally does. I secured a spot on the team, and that's the most important thing."
Phelps was already on the team, of course. He was merely adding to the 400 IM and 200 free wins, the latter assuring him of a spot on the 800 free relay.
Phelps likely assured himself of a fifth Olympic race when he posted the second-fastest time in the morning preliminaries of the 100 free. He withdrew after that, confident he'd done enough to get on the 400 free relay.
If nothing else, Phelps eliminated the controversy that dogged his spot on the 400 free relay at the last Olympics. He didn't swim the 100 free at the 2004 trials but was still picked for the team that wound up taking only a bronze in Athens.
Phelps also finalized what races he'll do at the trials, withdrawing from the 200 backstroke that begins Thursday featuring world champion Ryan Lochte and defending Olympic champion Aaron Peirsol. Phelps will close the trials swimming the 200 IM -- he's the world recordholder -- and the 100 fly against rival Ian Crocker.
With Phelps out of the way, Jason Lezak set his second American record of the day in the semifinals of the 100 free, putting up a blistering 47.58. He broke the mark of 47.78 set in the morning preliminaries by Garrett Weber-Gale, who bested Lezak's 48.15 the heat before.
Lezak was just off the world record of 47.50, established in March by France's Alain Bernard, and the 47.52 put up by Australia's Eamon Sullivan.
"When they did their 47.5s, I didn't think it was attainable," Lezak said. "I couldn't believe how fast they were going. For me to come within hundredths of that, it's unbelievable."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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