The Olympic notebook …
OMAHA, Neb. ó On the eighth day, Michael Phelps rested.
The swimming superstar got the final day of the U.S. Olympic trials off, having qualified for the Beijing Olympics in five individual events and three relays to give himself a chance at breaking Mark Spitz’s vaunted mark of seven gold medals.
Phelps did his usual morning workout in the pool, then planned to be in the stands cheering on his trials roommate Erik Vendt in the 1,500-meter freestyle Sunday night.
That’s about the only down time Phelps will get over the next month.
The entire U.S. Olympic swimming team gathers in Palo Alto, Calif., beginning Monday for a 21/2-week training camp.
Then the team leaves July 25 for Singapore, where they’ll do more resting than training, before arriving in Beijing Aug. 5, four days before the swimming competition opens.
“I don’t think we’re going to Beijing to enjoy the atmosphere,” Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, said. “We’re going to do a certain job. For Michael and me, we have to keep our eye on the ball with what we’re trying to do.”
Win eight golds in a single games, making him the greatest Olympian ever.
Just don’t expect him to bring up the topic.
“You guys talk about that,” he told reporters. “I just get in the water and do what I love to do, and that’s compete.”
– Having already won the 100 free Friday, Dara Torres got off to the third-slowest start in the most frenetic lap in swimming. But she was in control midway through, touching in 24.25 seconds to eclipse the mark of 24.38 she set the previous night.
– Katie Hoff will be busy in Beijing. The 19-year-old figures to have her face plastered everywhere after earning a spot in five individual races and assuring herself of at least a relay. Medaling in all six is not out of the realm of possibility.
– Allyson Felix breezed her way to the Olympics. Marshevet Hooker ó she stumbled in.
The day after Tyson Gay’s untimely fall reminded everyone there are no sure things on the track, the women’s 200 served up another harrowing lesson at the Olympic trials.
There was no drama to Felix’s win in an easy 21.82 seconds. But for the third and final spot, Hooker made it really interesting, stumbling at the finish line to propel herself forward and give her the .01-second advantage over Lauryn Williams, who already had made it in the 100.
– Walter Dix, Shawn Crawford and Wallace Spearmon have qualified for the Olympics, taking the top three spots in the 200 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials.
Florida State’s Dix, a three-time NCAA champion, edged defending Olympic champion Crawford, finishing in 19.852 seconds Sunday.
Crawford ran in 19.857 seconds, while Spearmon was third in 19.90.