Michael Phelps explains revolutionary new freestyle finish (Interview)

Produced by Coleman Hodges.

Reported by Jared Anderson. 

In a showdown of last year’s world champ and world rankings leader, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte went head-to-head in the 200 IM for yet another time in their storied careers. Lochte jumped out to an early lead, but things were nearly tied by the 150-mark. At the end, though, it was Phelps who got to the wall first from the middle of the pool, going 1:58.00. Lochte, swimming in an outside lane, was 1:58.43 to take silver in one of the weekend’s most memorable races.

Phelps competes for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club but now trains in Arizona with the Arizona State Sun Devils, while Lochte has moved from Florida to SwimMAC in Carolina as both legendary athletes continue dominating into their 30s.

Those two were well ahead of the field, with Cal’s Josh Prenot taking third in 1:59.94. Prenot was himself a second ahead of the next-best competitor, Scotland’s Dan Wallace (2:00.90). Wallace was the first of three Gator Swim Club swimmers to finish in succession: Eduardo Solaeche was 2:02.18 for 5th and Nikita Denisyako 2:03.58 for 6th.

Swimming in his second A final of the night, Cal freshman Andrew Seliskar was 2:03.92 to take 7th, and Wisconsin alum Michael Weiss went 2:04.59 for 8th.

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Steve-O Nolan

I know somebody that’s not gonna be a fan of this new finish technique: LINK!

Not breathing for 15 meters at the end of a 100 or 200 seems like it would have some really adverse effects on stuff, too. I dunno if you can just adapt to never getting any air.

But hey man, if Phelps is already in this good of shape and thinks he can do some CRAZY stuff with this finish, I’m all for going big.


Remember, Austin Staab did not breathe at all the final 25 yards when he set his NCAA record time.

Steve-O Nolan

True, but the short course aspect of that has gotta help. And I’m assuming that was in a rubber suit, which would also definitely help hold you together when you’re basically running out of air.

I’m all for trying stuff like this, absolutely love it. But it’s real high risk, so it’s gotta have a hell of a reward to try it.


“Performing a butterfly kick with a crawl stroke arm action is STUPID”

Prime example of why I firmly believe that more people would be receptive to USRPT if Brent Rushall didn’t present his arguments in such condescending, abrasive, and absolute terms. It’s a bit silly to expect people to look at your system objectively when you’ve just finished insulting them.

Steve-O Nolan

Comments like that make me lump him in with guys like Richard Dawkins.

Like, I basically agree with them on most major points, but they’re just such dicks about it that I end up wanting to disagree out of principle.


so let’s see a video of this!


so let’s see a video of what he’s doing!


Video is in the other post


Here is Michael Klim’s video doing this in 2000


Interesting how much he is “fishtailing” his legs from side to side when doing the dolphins. Wonder if that is part of the presumed increase in propulsion over and above just straight dolphin kicks. If so, so much for the “keep a straight body line” theory.

Years of Plain Suck

Thanks for sharing. Always fun to see Klim swim!

It was especially enjoyable to see the race done in a pool where different colored lane lines were used. It was a lot easier to see where the various swimmers were — especially Thorpe in lane #3. I sure wish that US Swimming would mandate the use of different colored lane lines for important competitions.


I think wearing a full body black racing suit helps to identify Thorpe more than any lane line color.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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