Michael Phelps established himself as a serious rival to take over from Ian Thorpe as the No.1 swimmer in the world after a brilliant World Championships in Barcelona in July.
Only just 18, Phelps was named Swimmer of the Meet winning three gold and two silver medals and becoming the first person to break five world records in one championship, including two – the 100metres butterfly and the 200metres individual medley – within 50 minutes of each other.
Phelps’ achievement surpassed that of Laureus World Sports Academy member Mark Spitz who created four world records in the 1972 Olympics in Munich.

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