Phelps falls again in Charlotte
Two days, two losses for Michael Phelps.
Phelps was beaten again at the Charlotte UltraSwim, losing to French star Frederick Bousquet in the 100-meter freestyle Sunday night in Charlotte, N.C.
Phelps touched nearly a full second behind Bousquet, world-record holder in the 50 free, after losing his first final in nearly a year the previous night. Aaron Peirsol beat Phelps in the 100 backstroke.
“I’m not disappointed with that time, but the finish was awful,” Phelps said. “There’s small things I need to work on. But overall, it was a good meet.”
The North Carolina meet was his first since capturing a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. He entered five events at Charlotte and won the first two, the 200 free and 100 back, both of which were part of his gold-medal haul in China.
But Phelps still has some work to do in the 200 back and 100 free, two events he hopes to add to his repertoire while dropping several races he won at Athens and Beijing.
Federer beats Nadal on clay
Roger Federer got a badly needed confidence boost ahead of the French Open, beating top-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4 to win his first title of the season at the Madrid Open.
The second-ranked Federer broke a sluggish Nadal once in both sets before firing his sixth ace to win his 15th Masters Series title on the second match point.
It was only the second victory Federer has on clay against his top rival, with the other coming at the Hamburg final two years ago. The win also ended Federer’s five-match losing streak to Nadal, which included losses in the finals at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Australia.
Federer also ended Nadal’s 33-match clay winning streak. The Spaniard will be going for a fifth straight title at the French Open starting May 25.
“I don’t think he’s going to take any damage away from this,” Federer said. “I’m sure he’s going to be rock solid in Paris again.”
Track and field
Bolt returns, sets 150-meter record
Usain Bolt ran the world’s fastest 150 meters to win a soggy street sprint in Manchester, England, that marked his return to competition after a car crash left him requiring minor foot surgery.
The triple Olympic champion ran in windy conditions, finishing in 14.35 seconds to break Donovan Bailey’s 12-year-old world best of 14.99 in the rarely run 150. Pietro Mennea of Italy ran in a hand-timed 14.8 in 1983.
The last 100 was run in 8.70, considerably faster than his world record time of 9.69 that won Olympic gold last August.
“Oh wow, that’s good,” he said after being informed of the time.
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