Olympic Swimming 2012: Ranking Michael Phelps' Best Remaining Chances for Gold

Ana PatejdlContributor IIJuly 30, 2012

Olympic Swimming 2012: Ranking Michael Phelps' Best Remaining Chances for Gold

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    Michael Phelps has five more chances at winning gold. But as we’ve seen so far in these games, winning gold has hardly been compulsory for Phelps in what he has said will be his final Olympics.

    However, some of Phelps’ best events are yet to come, including both butterfly events.

    Here’s a look at Phelps’ top three remaining chances for gold.

#3: 4x200 Freestyle Relay

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    This could be the best Phelps/Lochte relay combination of the Games given its longer distance.

    Plus, it’s redemption time.

    There is no doubt Lochte and Phelps are even more hungry for relay gold since losing the 4x100 freestyle relay down the stretch to the French. Lochte’s shocked and disappointed expression said it all.

    The U.S. is the defending world champion, beating France comfortably in Shanghai. If Lochte and Phelps are both on, the U.S. is going to be tough to beat and Phelps will get gold.

    4x200-meter Relay Finals: Tuesday, July 31 at 3:51pm EDT.

#2: 100-Meter Butterfly

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    Phelps swept the butterfly events at the Olympic trials. However, he won the 100 fly by his fingertips, just like he did in Beijing.

    May history repeat itself.

    Phelps came back from being second-to-last in Beijing to propel to miraculously win gold. More recently, Phelps was crowned world champion in 2011 in the same event. However, Lochte was absent from that race.

    But after watching Lochte get overtaken in his leg of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay against the French, he might not have what it takes to bring down Phelps in the shorter distance.

    100-meter Butterfly Finals: Friday, August 3 at 2:38pm EDT.

#1: 200-Meter Butterfly

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    This is it.

    Even if Phelps fails to win gold in any other event in London, he’ll win it in the 200 fly.

    Phelps has dominated this race during his career and currently holds the world record, which he set at the World Championships in 2009. He recently cemented his dominance when he took first 1.47 seconds ahead of Tyler Clary at the Olympic trials.

    Even though Phelps’ heat times in the event weren’t very impressive, he seems to be doing just what he needs to do to qualify and nothing more. Phelps finished fifth overall in Monday’s preliminaries.

    “I’m pretty happy with that swim,” Phelps told the Sporting News of his 1:55.53 time. “That’s all I needed it to be.”

    200-meter Butterfly Finals: Tuesday, July 31 at 2:49pm EDT.