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Phelps's great haul of China

August 17, 2008

It was billed as a team relay race, but it was only about one man, Michael Phelps.

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  • From the moment he walked into the Water Cube swimming pool at the head of the US team, all eyes were fixed on him and his quest to win a record eighth gold medal at a single Olympics.

    For years, no one believed that Mark Spitz's seven gold haul from 1972 could be overtaken. On Sunday, no one believed that Phelps would not make history by going one better.

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  • Photograph: Getty Images

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