Michael Phelps sets sight on Mark Spitz

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Michael Phelps has Mark Spitz in his sights – the American claimed one of Spitz's records on the final day of the World Swimming Championships.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Michael Phelps has Mark Spitz in his sights. The 18-year-old American claimed one of Spitz's records yesterday on the final day of the World Swimming Championships when he broke his fifth individual world mark. Spitz managed only four records in individual events in the Olympics 31 years ago – he was also on three record-setting relays – as he won his legendary seven gold medals. Now the Baltimore native has a chance to match it. "If everything goes as well as I want it to, as I hope to, then maybe I could be going after Mark Spitz's accomplishments," Phelps said. Fabulous performance Phelps was the centerpiece of one of the fastest meets in history; 13 world marks were broken and one was equalled. He also upstaged his American teammates, who led with 11 golds in the pool and 28 overall – their best performance since the Olympics three years ago. Archrival Australia had only six gold and 22 overall. When diving, water polo, synchronised and distance swimming was factored in, the Americans still led with 12 gold and 31 overall. In Phelps' final swim of 13 over a marathon six days, he bettered his own mark in the 400 individual medley (4:09.09), knocking 1.64 seconds off a record he set three months ago. "I've have had a great week of swimming here," he said, breathless after his 400 meter final. "I couldn't ask for anything more. I left every ounce of energy I had in the pool." (AP)