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Wu Does It
    2007-03-29 05:49:27     Shanghai Daily

Silver medalist Wu Peng of China (left) congratulates the 200m butterfly winner Michael Phelps at the world championships in Melbourne on Wednesday, March 28, 2007. [Photo: shanghaidaily]

Wu Peng lapped up China's first swimming medal on a day when American Michael Phelps enjoyed another extraordinary outing in the pool at the world championships in Melbourne.

Phelps demolished his own mark for 200 meters butterfly to win his third gold of the championships, stopping the clock at one minute 52.09 seconds to wipe a massive 1.62 off the previous record of 1:53.71 he set last month in Columbia, Missouri.
  
"I surprised myself, I went so fast," the American said. "It was obviously fun, you saw the expression on my face, I was shocked. To do 1.52 is just incredible."
  
Wu finished a distant second, more than two body lengths behind Phelps, providing China with its first swimming medal at these championships, and Russian Nikolay Skvortsov was third.
  
"He (Phelps) is simply way too fast, way too fast...I couldn't see him at all," Wu said.
  
Laure Manaudou of France and American Leila Vaziri also broke world records and Oussama Mellouli became Tunisia's first world champion following his surprise victory in the 800m freestyle final.
  
Manaudou confirmed her status as the hottest property in women's swimming when she shattered the 200 freestyle record to collect her second gold medal of the championships as three world records were erased from the books in less than 15 minutes.
  
The 21-year-old Phelps is chasing an unprecedented eight world titles in Melbourne, including five individual gold medals, and has won his first three events.
  
He collected his first gold medal in the 4x100 freestyle relay and added a second when he broke Ian Thorpe's 200 freestyle world record on Tuesday.
  
"I'm showing I'm in solid shape now. I had a really good swim earlier in the season where I broke the world record. I wanted to take it out tonight, so I'm pretty happy."
  
Manaudou fought off a powerful finish from Germany's Annika Lurz to win the women's 200 freestyle title in 1:55.52, slicing 0.95 off the record of 1:56.47 set by Italian Federica Pellegrini in the semifinals.
  
Lurz also went under the old world record to take the silver medal in 1:55.68 and Pellegrini finished third in 1:56.97.
  
"With Phelps beating a world record just before, I told myself I had to do it too. Now I can only do better," Manau-dou told French television.
  
Lurz and Pellegrini were philosophical about their performances after breaking the old world record but failing to win gold medals.
  
"My name will always be here even if it is without a world record, that's what matters," Pellegrini said. "It is a beautiful bronze one day after I set the world record."
  
Vaziri set the first world mark in the women's 50 backstroke semis, touching the wall in 28.16 to clip 0.03 off the previous record of 28.19 set by German Janine Pietsch in 2005.
  
Four world records fell in less than 90 minutes on Tuesday and the 21-year-old Vaziri said she was determined to add her name to the list of record breakers. "The energy is incredible, you just want to go world record so bad just to be up with everybody else," she said.
  
The United States owns a leading 14 pool medals halfway through the eight-day meet, including eight golds. Australia has eight medals and three golds.

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