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Phelps sets personal best in 100-meter butterfly

MICHAEL Phelps swam a personal-best time of 50.48 seconds in winning the 100-meter butterfly at the Canada Cup in Montreal on Saturday, flirting with the world record set four years ago by American compatriot Ian Crocker.

Phelps, competing in the pool used at the 1976 Olympics, improved on his previous best of 50.58 set at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

"This pool is still in great shape and it's fast too, it's without a doubt fast," said Phelps, who won one of his record eight gold medals in setting an Olympic record in the event last summer, the only event in which he did not establish a world mark.

On Saturday, Phelps narrowly missed Crocker's world record of 50.40 set during the 2005 world championships, which were held at a new outdoor complex.

Race as Beijing

"It was pretty much exactly the same race as Beijing - I was out a tenth slower," Phelps said. "I just need to get a little bit more rest leading up to the (US) nationals and hopefully take it out a little bit quicker."

Phelps won five gold medals in Montreal in 2005, getting the silver behind Crocker in the 100 butterfly.

"It's cool coming up here again being able to swim here for the second time in my career," Phelps said. "In '05, I had a so-so meet but this is definitely better than last time."

Phelps' performance came while wearing a full-length bodysuit. He had previously worn the pants version in the event. "It felt perfect," Phelps said. "I felt awesome coming off the wall. It really felt like I got up on top of the water so I guess that's going to be the suit I'm wearing now in the 100 fly."

Phelps is using the Montreal meet as a final tuneup for the US championships, which will serve as the trials for the world championships in Rome next month. "The intensity is still there, the drive to compete is still there, the love to swim is still there, so right now it's just getting back into better shape," he said.


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