Phelps flops again as Biedermann sets swimming record
Berlin: Michael Phelps` poor run of form continued as he came second in the 200m individual medley at the shortcourse World Cup while his arch-rival Paul Biedermann broke the 200m freestyle world record.
South Africa`s Darian Townsend beat the star of the Beijing Olympics with a new world record in the 200m individual medley final of 1 mins 51.55secs, compared to Phelps` time of 1:53.70, to break Ryan Lochte`s previous record.
The defeat came just hours after Phelps failed to qualify for the 200m freestyle final and missed his chance for revenge against new world-record holder Biedermann.
Phelps, 24, suffered the first defeat in four years to Biedermann, 23, in the 200m freestyle final at Rome`s World Championships last July and the pair were set to clash here again over the same distance.
But while Biedermann was the fastest into Sunday`s 200m freestyle final with 1min 42.73secs, Phelps flopped to a disappointing 12th-fastest over the two heats in a time of 1 mins 44.07secs and failed to qualify from the heats.
Having also set a new world record in the 400m freestyle of 3 mins 32.77secs the day before, Biedermann then swam a new world best time of 1 min 39.37secs in Sunday evening`s 200m freestyle final.
The German tore a thigh muscle training in Spain a fortnight ago and having been given the all-clear to race only on Friday, has finished the weekend with two world records.
"I did not think I would go so fast, perhaps it was good not to train for a few days," said Biedermann.
The Germans` success here has been in sharp contrast to Phelps who could also only finish fifth in Saturday`s 200m butterfly final after a poor performance, by his lofty standards, in Stockholm last week.
But there was some joy for the winner of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics when he was the fastest into Sunday`s 200m individual medley final.
Phelps clocked 1min 55.92secs to reach the final and insists on wearing swimming trunks ahead of the decision by the sport`s governing body FINA to ban the high-tech swimsuits from January 1.
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