Nick D’Arcy, Australian swimmer expects his win over Michael Phelps in the 200 meters butterfly final at the Santa Clara International in California is the launch of a budding competition with the 14 times Olympic gold medalist.
D’Arcy, who will neglect the World Championships in shanghai after being excluded of Australian trials with a liver illness, said his victory by 0.01 seconds over the American had given him a self-assurance increase prior to the 2012 London Games.
D’Arcy, the 23 years old quoted saying after beating Phelps with a time of one minute, 55.39 seconds, “I think you’ve got to take away plenty of confidence when you get the opportunity to get one up on possibly the greatest athlete that’s ever lived.”
“I consider myself honoured to be even mentioned in the same breath as him, so to get one up on him … I think that’s really going to give me the drive to push forward to next year.”
D’Arcy was booted off the Australian tem for the 2008 Olympics for beating a previous team-mate at a Sydney bar for which he was condemned and given a 14 months suspended jail sentence in 2009.
The failure was record-holder Phelps’s third in the previous three starts over the distance. Wu Peng of China ended his 9 year domination of the category in April and reiterated the feat a month after at a meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Time of Phelp at Santa Clara was closely four seconds shy of his 1.51.51 record put at the 2009 World Championships in Rome.
The Australian, who holds the national record in the distance said, “I think people know that he can be beaten but I don’t think that takes away anything from Michael as an athlete.”
“I think some of the times he puts on the board heading towards next year will be very quick and I just want to kind of keep this rivalry up and hopefully go with him.”