Michael Phelps of the U.S. let his swimming do the talking as he beat Milorad Cavic representing Serbia to win the Men’s 100 Meter Butterfly at the World Championships in Rome.
Phelps’ time of 49.82 seconds was just ahead of Cavic’s 49.95 seconds performance. Rafael Munoz of Spain clocked in at 50.41.While still in the water immediately following the race, Cavic reached out and the pair shook hands.
Phelps also beat Cavic last year at the Beijing Olympics in a much closer race in the same event - a one hundredth of a second difference.
Cavic has previously said he lost the race because he failed to put as much pressure on the touchpad which records time as Phelps, although photographs and electronic timers show Phelps came in first.
After winning the race Phelps pulled at his Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit, perhaps in reference to comments about swimsuits made by Cavic earlier this week.
High-tech swimsuits, which have made headlines because of their supposed ability to increase swimmers’ speeds, have been a sore point for the sport, with many calling for bans of certain suits.
Cavic had raised concerns that if he beat Phelps at the 100m Butterfly event people would attribute the win to the suit. He offered to get Phelps the same suit would wear.
The Serbian swimmer said his sponsor, Arena, which makes the X-Glide swimsuit would be willing to give the Phelps one. Cavic also said he could buy his rival another suit considered by some to have a technology edge, the J01 by Jaked, if Phelps wanted.
An NBC reporter asked what kind of motivation Cavic’s comments had provided.
How can it not motivate you? When there are things that are said, the only thing it does for me is fire me up, Phelps said.
“I’ve always welcomed those in the past and I’ll always welcome those in the present and in the future. It does nothing but literally motivate me to no end, and I love it.
Cavic had only positives to say about Phelps after the race.
“This is just a testament to Michael Phelps,” Cavic said, according to USA Today. “He can do it all.”
He says he told Phelps: “You’re the man.”
“He just looked at me and smiled,” Cavic said, according to the report. “He knows it.”