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Sports Olympics

Phelps struggles at World Cup event

Michael Phelps finished fifth in the 200-meter butterfly Saturday at a short-course World Cup meet that featured six world records.

Nikolay Skvortsov of Russia, who had the fastest qualifying time, won the final in 1 minute, 50.58 seconds. Phelps squeezed in as the eighth and last qualifier in the heats.

The Fells Point resident finished in 1:52.26 in the final. Phelps is competing in an old-style swimsuit that will become the standard Jan. 1.

Phelps has yet to win a race on his European tour. He failed to make three finals at another World Cup meet in Stockholm this week. He was second in the 200-meter medley in Sweden. He had been entered in the 100 medley in Berlin but skipped the race Saturday because the heat was shortly after the 200 butterfly qualifying.

On the eve of the Berlin meet, Phelps said he was not in the best of shape, apart from the disadvantage of not swimming in one of the high-tech swimsuits. Phelps left the pool Saturday without speaking to reporters.

While Phelps continues to struggle, German rival Paul Biedermann bounced back from an injury to shatter the 400-meter freestyle world record. He won in 3:32.77 to slash nearly two seconds off the old mark of 3:34:58 set by Grant Hackett of Australia on July 18, 2002, in Sydney.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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