American Michael Phelps edged teammate Ian Crocker for Olympic gold in the 100-meter butterfly Friday night, tying Mark Spitz's 32-year-old record for
most individual swimming medals in one games -- four.
The 19-year-old from Baltimore rallied in the last 25 meters and won in an Olympic-record 51.25 seconds, lowering the record of 51.61 he set in the
Cocker took silver in 51.29. Andriy Serdinov of Ukraine earned bronze in 51.36.
Crocker was under his own world-record pace at the turn, and Phelps was fifth in the lane next to him. But Phelps used his huge arms to surge past
Crocker and win by four-hundredths of a second.
Phelps has five gold medals and two bronze, with one day left in the swimming competition. Friday, he earned the right to swim in the 400 medley
relay, giving him a chance to break the record of most medals by an American in one Olympics.
He is tied with Spitz, swimmer Matt Biondi and shooters Lloyd Spooner and Willis Lee. Spooner and Lee won their seven medals at the 1920 Antwerp
Games. Spitz won seven at the 1972 Munich Olympics and Biondi won seven in 1988 at Seoul.
Phelps' other individual golds were in the 200 butterfly and 200 and 400 individual medleys. He won gold in the 800 freestyle relay, and bronze medals
in the 200 freestyle and 400 free relay.
Crocker, of Portland, Maine, is the current world champion.
Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe won the Olympic gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke.
Coventry led all the way and finished in 2 minutes, 9.19 seconds.
Stanislava Komarova of Russia, an 18-year-old who was the fastest qualifier, earned silver in 2:09.72. Reiko Nakamura of Japan took bronze in
Coventry swims at Auburn University, although her family lives in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare. She already won a silver in the 100 back and a
bronze in the 200 individual medley in Athens.
Margaret Hoelzer of Huntsville, Ala., finished fifth in 2:10.70.
[Edited on 21/8/04 by TRD]