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U.S. shows pool dominance at Water Cube
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14:10, August 10, 2008

The United States showed its pool dominance by medalling in all the four finals here on Sunday, while President Bush was on hand to witness the swimmers feats.

The U.S. swimming squad took home one gold, one silver and three bronzes. Its star swimmer Michael Phelps won the gold of men's 400m individual medley with a world record time of four minutes 3.84 seconds. The new record was 1.41 seconds faster than a previous one set in July.


Michael Phelps of America celebrates victory after the men's 400m individual medley final of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China, August 10, 2008. Michael Phelps won in a world record time of 4:03.84. (Xinhua/Ding Xu)

"It's a tough race the whole way through. That's a pretty emotional race," he said after the race.

Phelps' triumphant start ushered in a widely-anticipated gold quest to to eclipse Mark Spitz's seven-gold mark in 1972.

Fellow Americans Ryan Lochte, Larsen Jensen, Katie Hoff and the relay team also made the podium. Veteran swimmer Dara Torres, 41, made a strong dash in 4X100 meters freestyle to secure a silver medal for her country.

Sunday's finals also saw strong challengers to the U.S. dominance. South Korean swimmer Park Taehwan became a pool star by winning his first Olympic gold medal in 400-meter freestyle. He won the race with a new Asian record of 3:41.86.

"Although the weather was not good today, it certainly was a truly nice day for me," he said.

Park Tae-hwan of South Koera celebrates victory during men’s 400 freestyle final of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China, August 10, 2008. Park won the gold medal in the event.(Xinhua/Chen Kai)

China's Zhang Lin won the silver in 3:42.44, and Australia's Grant Hackett slipped to the 6th in the final.

In the women's 400 individual medley, Phelps "little sister" Katie Hoff lost her world record to Australia's debutante Stephanie Rice, who clocked 4:29.45 to win the gold.

"I turned around and thought I saw 31 (seconds), and I thought 'wow', that hurt a lot more than the 31 (seconds) I did at trials," Rice said after the race.

"It hasn't sunk in yet. I thought no-one would go under (four minutes and) 30," she added.

Stephanie Rice of Australia celebrates after women's 400m individual medley final of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at National Aquatics Center in Beijing, China, August 10, 2008. Stephanie Rice won the gold medal in a new world record time of 4:29.45. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)

The women's 4X100 freestyle relay gold went to the current world record holder Dutch women. The quartet of Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Femke Heemskerk and Marleen Veldhuis recorded 3:33.76, about 0.14 seconds slower than their world record set in March.

In women's 100 butterfly semifinals, Aussie swimmer Libby Trickett topped the heats. In men's 100 breaststroke semifinal, Japanese defending Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima and world record holder Amercian Brendan Hansen both entered the final races, scheduled on Monday.

source:Xinhua

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1 China 7 3 0 10
2 USA 3 4 5 12
3 South Korea 3 2 0 5
4 Australia 2 0 3 5
5 Japan 2 0 2 4
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