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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Phelps amazes world with Beijing eight

Swimmer Michael Phelps went on Sunday where no one has been before to win a record eighth gold at one Olympics and surpass Mark Spitz's famous 1972 feat.

The American stole the limelight even from Jamaican Usain Bolt's audaciously brilliant 100m win in the athletics showpiece that has been the Beijing Games' other defining moment so far.

On an unhappier note, American shooter Matt Emmons threw away gold for a second successive Games with a misfire on his final shot. He did the same four years ago in Athens by firing at the wrong target.

Phelps, 23, held his arms aloft and hugged team mates after a relatively easy men's 4x100 meters medley relay win, unlike the finger-tip finishes in two of his earlier Beijing golds.

The all-time most successful Olympian, who has over nine days in China proved himself to be one of the greatest sportsmen the world has seen, showed he was still human, though.

"I just want to see my mom," said Phelps, who as a child in Baltimore had a screaming fit at his first swimming lesson because he did not want to get his face wet.

Phelps' 14th career gold, after six in Athens, took him past fellow American Spitz's seven at one Games in Munich. He has five more than anyone else in the Olympics' 112-year history. "It's been nothing but an upwards rollercoaster but it's been nothing but fun," he added at his moment of triumph, embracing his tearful mother and sister. "With so many people saying it couldn't be done, all it takes is an imagination."

Courtesy : Reuters

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