Thorpe set for huge clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thorpe set for huge clash

16/08/2004 03:14:26 AM Comments (0)

The stage is set for the race of the millennium.

Ian Thorpe drew first blood against American wonder kid Michael Phelps at the Athens Olympics, beating the 19-year-old in their 200m freestyle semi-final.

Thorpe powered off the wall in the final turn and touched in 1 minute 46.65 seconds, 0.43s ahead of Phelps (1:47.08).

But Dutch Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband qualified fastest in the earlier semi, clocking 1:46.

The three best male swimmers of their generation - all Olympic champions and all world recordholders - will race for the gold medal.

Olympic 1500m champion Grant Hackett is also in the eight-man field, qualifying fifth fastest in 1:47.61.

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