Swimming: Phelps is slowest qualifier in 400 IM heats

AP, Saturday 28 Jul 2012

Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals in Beijing four years ago, qualifies by the skin of his teeth this year

Michael Phelps
USA's Michael Phelps competes in a heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (Photo: AP)

Michael Phelps qualified eighth-fastest in the 400-metre individual medley preliminaries on Saturday, grabbing the last spot in the evening final.

The two-time defending Olympic champion won his heat in 4 minutes, 13.33 seconds with a time that was well off his world record of 4:03.84 set four years ago in Beijing, when Phelps won a record eight gold medals.

Kosuke Hagino of Japan led the way in 4:10.01. Chad le Clos of South Africa was second at 4:12.24, and Ryan Lochte advanced in third at 4:12.35.

Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, the silver medalist in Beijing, was ninth and missed the final by one spot.

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