Already with six gold medals secured, Phelps faced his final individual test in the 100 fly. With the United States heavily favored to win the medley relay, a victory in the 100 fly would make eight gold medals a near lock. With 10 meters left, it looked like Phelps’ perfection would end, as Serbia’s Milorad Cavic had a clear lead.
2008 Olympic Games – 400 Individual Medley
Every push for greatness starts somewhere and Phelps’ eight-gold week in Beijing began with a dazzling exhibition in the 400 individual medley. Over eight laps, Phelps put on a show and took the world record down by more than a second to 4:03.84, where it remains to this day.
2008 Olympic Games – 200 Freestyle
This race was over on the start. While Phelps has been known for remarkable finishes and his ability to run down the opposition, the 200 freestyle at the Beijing Games was a four-lap coronation. Phelps opened up a body-length lead by the 50-meter mark and kept widening his advantage with every stroke, until he touched in world-record time, and the first sub-1:43 performance in history.