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Phelps beats own record in heat; Hoff second-fastest in women's 400 IM

Updated: August 9, 2008, 1:28 PM ET
Associated Press

BEIJING -- The routine is always the same: Wipe down the starting block with a towel, stretch out each leg, step up from the side of the platform, flap those long arms so hard they slap him in the back.

Then Michael Phelps gets down to business.

A workmanlike Phelps won his opening race at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday night, providing a tantalizing glimpse of what might be coming. His time in the preliminaries of the 400-meter individual medley was 4 minutes, 7.82 seconds -- which ...

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