The men's 200-meter butterfly has been dominated by one man for the past two Olympic Games. If he wins the 200 butterfly at the 2012 Olympic Games, Phelps could become the first man to win any Olympic swimming event three consecutive times.
He'll face some tough competition from around the world, though. Here are a few men who could challenge for a medal at the Olympic Games:
Takeshi Matsuda of Japan has been one of the most consistent 200 butterfly swimmers in the world. At the 2011 World Championships, Matsuda won the gold medal behind Phelps, and at the 2009 World Championships he earned bronze. Matsuda also won bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, and he will head into the 2012 Olympic Games with the second-fastest time this year (1:54.01). Matsuda will likely use his veteran experience to help him chase the defending Olympic champion.
Nick D'Arcyof Australia will be looking for redemption at the 2012 Olympic Games. The 24-year-old was removed from the 2008 Olympic team after an assault involving a fellow Australian team member. D'Arcy was named to the team in 2012, and he'll arrive in London with something to prove. He'll head into the Games with the third-fastest time of 2012 at 1:54.71
Tyler Clary of the United States will enter the 2012 Games with the sixth-fastest time in the world a 1:55.12, and the 23-year-old has already provided fodder for the media after publicly commenting on Phelps' work ethic. Clary finished second to Phelps at the U.S. Swimming Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, and he'll be a first-time Olympian in London. Clary has before competed internationally at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, and his performance has steadily improved. He'll be one to watch in London.
Laszlo Cseh of Hungary will head into the Olympic Games with the fifth-fastest time of 2012 at 1:54.95, and he'll also be one of the most experienced swimmers in the field. Cseh is a veteran of the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, and the 26-year-old has four Olympic medals to his credit, though none of them are gold. He won silver in the 200 butterfly at the 2008 Olympic Games, and in 2012 you can bet he'll be looking to make bring home a gold.
Read more from this author: The Last Five Men to Win the 200-Meter Butterfly at the Olympic Games
Sandra Johnson was a competitive swimmer for more than 15 years before she began coaching. She is a longtime Olympic fan, and while working for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo., she had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
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