The Americans did in the 4x200 freestyle relay what the French couldn't in the 4x100 -- smash the competition. Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay obliterated the world record en route to a 6:58.56. It's the first time any 4x200 team has broken the seven-minute barrier. By comparison, the Americans won in Athens with a 7:07.33 (with three of the same swimmers as tonight).
Phelps is now five-for-five, and Mark Spitz is well-within his sights. Saturday morning's 100-meter butterfly is the biggest hurdle remaining. If Phelps can get by American teammate Ian Crocker, he should get his eight golds, barring a catasrophic disqualification in Sunday's medley relay.
Tomorrow is the only day of the swimming competition where Phelps won't be competing in a final. Then it's three more events for history.
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