Watch Michael Phelps’ 7 Gold Medal Races from the 2007 FINA World Championships

Jaws-esque music introduces viewers to Michael Phelps, described as “like a shark” by the commentator of the 2007 FINA World Championships swimming coverage for Australian audiences.

While Phelps-shark comparisons have been made for years, including a “race” between the GOAT himself and a great white shark in 2017, Phelps’ domination at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne was anything but unexpected. This draws a shark stark contrast between the events that took place off the coast of Amity Island in the summer of 1975 in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jaws, a theme echoed by the background music played during the race videos, and the medal haul pulled in by Phelps in 2007.

Phelps set a total of 5 World Records, including 4 individual and 1 as part of a relay, at the 2007 FINA World Championships. Phelps’ triumphs included the 200 butterfly (1:52.09), the 200 IM (1:54.98), the 400 IM (4:06.22), and to the shock of the Australian home crowd, the 200 freestyle (1:43.86), erasing Ian Thorpe‘s 1:44.06, set at the 2001 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka.

On the relays side, Phelps and Team USA set the World Record in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 7:03.24, with Phelps leading off in a 1:45.36. Though not as fast as his winning time in the individual 200, that lead-off leg still would have beaten 200 freestyle runner-up Pieter van den Hoogenband by nearly a second. Phelps and co. also set the Championship Record in the 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:12.72, with Phelps contributing a 48.42 lead-off leg, which would have won gold in the individual men’s 100 freestyle by 0.01 over co-champions Brent Hayden of Canada and Filippo Magnini of Italy.

Though victorious in the men’s 100 butterfly with a time of 50.77, Phelps did not have the opportunity to chase another gold medal in the men’s 400 medley relay due to an early jump by prelims butterflyer Ian Crocker, who placed 2nd to Phelps in the individual 100 fly (50.82). Therefore, the Australian team would go on to claim the world title on home soil.

Phelps’ performance in Melbourne was a preview of what he would do at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he won 8 gold medals and set 7 World Records, with his only non-World Record performance coming in the 100 butterfly on both occasions.

 

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Steve Nolan
8 months ago

Ya I remembered being super mad about that for a while. “Bu bu bu people should know he woulda had 8 the year, before, too!!”

But idk if anything it makes Beijing seem like a more singular achievement. (And it’s not like his overall career needs padding out.)

Mr Piano
Reply to  Steve Nolan
8 months ago

Yeah it certainly made Beijing a bit more memorable.

ICU
8 months ago

Thorpe was better at 2004 and before…

Mr Piano
Reply to  ICU
8 months ago

2007 was literally the year when Phelps was known to fully surpass Thorpe.

Dkro
8 months ago

I always find that 400IM race interesting. Marin has probably the slowest butterfly leg I’ve ever seen in a high level meet. Does anyone know what that’s about? Or is this more common thing than I realize? I imagine it’s not since the IM transitioned from a more breaststroke friendly race to more butterfly/backstroke (and underwater in general) dominated race.

Joe
Reply to  Dkro
8 months ago

He was one of a kind I think. He was 2.5 seconds behind Phelps after the first 50 of that 400 IM and then almost kept up with him the last 350

X Glide
Reply to  Dkro
8 months ago

Can’t remember if it was this race or maybe in ‘04 where Marin either matched or actually out split Michael Phelps over the last 300

Mclovin
8 months ago

I love when videos are blocked for my country for no reason.

I Miss Lochte
8 months ago

Who do I like more??? Lochte or Phelps? IDK?????

Robbos
8 months ago

Phelps was just not the best swimmer, he was the best racer, loved a challenge. The Ultimate GOAT!!!

BOBFROMTHEISLAND
8 months ago

The transition into his prime between 06 and 07 he just went onto a level that no one could touch. The world records he set the year before he just blew them to oblivion in Melbourne. The 8 golds in Beijing plan went from no chance to “Wow this is more possible than impossible”.

Peaty55Paris
Reply to  BOBFROMTHEISLAND
8 months ago

🐐

Mr Piano
8 months ago

Something I’ve wondered is, what would a 2007 era Phelps do in today’s field? Would he adapt to the competition and try to challenge someone like Milak, or would he need to specialize more in today’s age. It may be impossible for someone to win 8 gold medals ever again.

turboturtle
Reply to  Mr Piano
8 months ago

Sort of a silly question, these kids are this fast because Phelps showed it could be done.

PFA
Reply to  turboturtle
8 months ago

If someone were to attempt to go for 8 golds, then they would likely have to approach it differently than how Michael and bowman did.

turboturtle
Reply to  PFA
8 months ago

That’s fair but even back in Phelps prime basically everyone was specialized for the most part. He was just an outlier. There may be another eventually!

FST
Reply to  PFA
8 months ago

I honestly don’t think it’ll even be attempted until the fly/back/breats 50s are added to the program.

swimfast
Reply to  turboturtle
8 months ago

I agree with this. It was in 2007 that Phelps took the 200 fly to such heights. The world was stuck at 1:55s and without Phelps’ 1:52s starting to seem normal the world may still be at 1:53 today, which would still be really good; but it was the 200 fly that was Phelps’ bread and butter.

And on top of that, yes, of course there is time inflation so no doubt eventually Phelps’ times may seem pedestrian, whenever that may be- but the fact of the matter is that he was a pure racer, and could handle racing at 110% effort for a week and a half straight over the course of 8 FINALS, not counting the prelims and… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by swimfast
mcmflyguy
Reply to  swimfast
8 months ago

Question, why prelims of medley? why not flip Dressel to free and phelps to fly? that should be the finals line up. am I missing someone that should take phelps fly spot?

or is the gap between 1 and 2 in free bigger than phelps and Dressel in fly?

Last edited 8 months ago by mcmflyguy

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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