Phelps' mixed Paris results 'not terrible'

Updated: June 26, 2010, 3:32 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Michael Phelps easily won the 200-meter butterfly at the Paris Open before ending the first day of the meet by finishing last in the 100-meter freestyle.

Phelps led from the start of the 200 butterfly, finishing in 1 minute, 55.70 seconds. Christophe Lebon edged fellow Frenchman Jordan Coelho to finish second in 1:59.01.

Phelps swam in the 100 freestyle final about half an hour later and finished eighth. Frenchman Fabien Gilot won in 48.65.

Swimming in Lane 1 next to world champion Cesar Cielo of Brazil, Phelps had a slow start and clocked 49.70.

"I think as a whole, for the day, it's not terrible," the 14-time Olympic champion said. "I'm more happy with my fly. I think there is still a lot of work to do."

Phelps will also compete in the 200 freestyle and the 200 individual medley on Sunday.

"I will try to recover as much as I can," he said. "It's going to be a tough day."

Phelps, who turns 25 at the end of the month, holds the record for the most gold medals in a single Olympics, with eight at the 2008 Beijing Games.

He is competing in Paris as part of his preparations for the U.S. championships in August, which will determine the roster for Pan Pacific Championships in Irvine, Calif., later that month.

"I'm a bit disappointed with the race," Phelps said of the 100 freestyle. "It just shows where we stand right now. I know I should be a lot faster than that."

Cielo finished fifth in 49.23, while American Nathan Adrian tied for second with Yannick Agnel of France in 48.83.

Phelps planned to relax by watching Saturday's World Cup soccer match between the United States and Ghana.

"I've got to cheer for my home country," he said. "They've got a big match against Ghana."

Olympic champion Alain Bernard of France disappointed the home crowd, failing to qualify for the 100-freestyle final. Bernard posted the 18th time in the heats in 50.44.

Bernard, swimming in the same heat as Phelps, was unable to accelerate in the last 50 meters. The Frenchman, who is gearing up for August's European championships in Budapest, Hungary, said he was not worried by his performance.

"I was very tired," Bernard said. "And when you're tired, there is nothing you can do."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE