The story appears on

Page A16

August 1, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Swimming

Cavic blasts Phelps ahead of showdown

MILORAD Cavic is tired of hearing about Michael Phelps having to compete in a supposedly inferior swimsuit. The Serb even offered to buy his American rival one of the latest models if that's what it takes to even the playing field for their rematch in the 100-meter butterfly.

Cavic's comments, coming after both swimmers easily advanced in preliminaries yesterday morning, sets up a tantalizing rematch of their memorable race at the Beijing Olympics, which Phelps won by a hundredth of a second on his way to capturing a record eight gold medals. Cavic, who wears the Arena X-Glide, said the perception that Phelps has no choice except to stick with the Speedo LZR Racer because of sponsorship commitments is "a complete lie."

"I know he's making a lot of money from Speedo," Cavic said. "It's loyalty. But throughout all my experiences, I've learned this -- free will is a gift with a price tag, and whatever you choose to do you're going to pay, but how much you're going to pay is really dependent on you."

Cavic said Arena would provide Phelps one of its polyurethane suits "within the hour." The X-Glide and a similar suit by Jaked are considered fastest at these championships, where a staggering 29 world records were set in the first five days.

Phelps hustled through the mixed zone without stopping to speak to reporters. His coach, Bob Bowman, shrugged off Cavic's comments.

"He's a very good swimmer, a super-talented swimmer and he's free to say whatever he wants," Bowman said. "We know that Michael usually lets his swimming do his talking, and we'll know by (tonight) what the deal is."

Speedo allowed its athletes to switch to another suit if they thought it would improve their chances in Rome. But Phelps, who has been sponsored by Speedo since he was a teenager and earns millions from the company, decided to stick with the LZR.

"If Mike wants an Arena, he just has to say it," Cavic said. "If he wants a Jaked and they don't want to give it to him free, I'll buy it for him. He has options. I think in the media it's been portrayed that he has no option, he has to swim for (Speedo). It's a complete lie."

Bowman was livid after his swimmer was beaten by Germany's Paul Biedermann in the 200 freestyle, saying the X-Glide gave the winner a huge technological edge. Bowman even threatened to pull Phelps from future international meets unless FINA speeds up its ban on all bodysuits, which goes into effect next year.

Cavic found Bowman's comments a bit hypocritical, especially since the whole swimsuit debate started with the introduction of the LZR Racer in early 2008, which led American team leader Mark Schubert to declare that anyone who wanted to win gold at the Olympics should switch to Speedo -- even if they had a deal with another company.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend