At the 200m freestyle event of the World Championships at Rome, Michael Phelps touched the finish wall almost a body length behind Biedermann who proved to be a bogeyman for the eight gold medals winning Olympic record holder.
Biedermann logged 1min 42.00sec bettering Phelps' world record of 1:42.96 set during his gold winning effort at the Beijing Olympic Games. Phelps himself managed silver with a time of 1:43.22, the Hungarian Danila Izotov taking the bronze with 1:43.90. The American, who could not hold on to his by now habituated position on the winners' podium looked crestfallen and lost on the runner-ups block during the medal distribution ceremony.
Phelps had actually started off the quickest off-the-blocks. Biedermann however seized the initiative at the first turn and never looked back. Bob Bowman, Phelps' coach who preferred crediting Bidermann's polyurethane suit for his win stated that those suits expend "much less energy ... so at the end you have a punch."
Biedermann himself admits that "the suits make a difference," adding "I hope there will be a time when I can beat Michael Phelps without these suits. I hope next year." Phelps seems in no mood to wait to settle the score and responds with, "It's going to be fun next year when swimming is back to swimming."
Whatever be the debate about the swimsuit, the fact remains that the champion of the 200m freestlye is Biedermann and Phelps no more! As for Phelps, known to take to water as naturally as a fish getting beaten by technology must have come as a real shocker!!