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Phelps romps to 5th win

2011-11-14 09:21
Michael Phelps (File)

Minnesota - Michael Phelps captured his fifth gold medal of the weekend, dominating the 200 metre individual medley Sunday at the Minnesota Grand Prix meet.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympic swimmer in history, is stepping up his training and getting ready for the 2012 London Olympics.

"It feels good to sort of have things going in the right direction again," Phelps said. "It's been so long that I've been able to swim halfway decent in-season. Being able to kind of get back to those times is definitely good for me right now.

"I'm happy to just be able to compete how I used to."

The 14-time Olympic gold medal winner Phelps crushed the 200 individual medley field, winning by almost four seconds and touching the wall in two minutes, 2.23 seconds. Phelps also swam the fastest time in the morning preliminaries.

The 26-year-old American had already won the 100 and 200 butterfly events, as well as the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke during the three-day competition at the University of Minnesota pool.

South Africa's Darian Townsend finished well back in second in the medley with a time of 2:01.55 and China's Wu Peng was third in 2:01.97.

Six-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte, of the US, swam the third-fastest preliminary time in the 200 individual medley and the top preliminary time in the 200 backstroke, but chose not to compete the evening finals.

While Phelps was the top male swimmer of the meet, his American compatriot Melissa Franklin was the leading female scorer after winning five medals.

Franklin captured the 200 backstroke on Sunday, finishing in 2:08.03 and later won the 100 freestyle with a time of 54.27.

She also placed third in the 200 individual medley in 2:13.12 Sunday. The 16-year-old is chasing her first Olympic berth.

"We're in really tough training right now; everyone is," Franklin said. "To be able to come out here and go some of my best in-season times is really good. I'm thrilled."

The Minnesota Grand Prix is the first of seven stops this season on USA Swimming's Grand Prix series.

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