Michael Phelps of the United States smashed his 400 metres medley world record on Saturday to win the first of a possible eight Beijing Olympics swimming gold medals. ( dpa )
His time of 4 minutes 3.84 seconds beat the previous mark of 4:05.25 he swam on June 29 at the US trials in Omaha. It was his seventh Olympic gold overall and a 23rd world record.
Hungarian Laszlo Cseh got silver in 4:06.16, while Phelps' friend and compatriot Ryan Lochte won the bronze medal in 4:08.09 in front of a huge crowd including US President George W Bush.
Phelps is going for an unprecedented eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. The 23-year-old needs just three more gold medals from to become the leading all-time Olympian with ten gold medals.