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World Swimming Championships

1_Michigan Men: It seems to be all or nothing with these guys. Almost three days into the meet and Michael Phelps seems to be his usual self, one gold medal in a relay on the first night and the fastest-qualifying time in morning preliminaries of the 200 butterfly today.

But Klete Keller failed to advance out of the morning heats in his two individual races, the 400 freestyle and the 200 freestyle and suggested that the coaches should pull him from the upcoming 800 freestyle relay.

He wasn’t the only Club Wolverine member to fall short in the morning heats. Neither Peter Vanderkaay nor Erik Vendt qualified for the final of the 800 freestyle on Day 3, finishing ninth and 10th, respectively.

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2_Part II of III: Brendan Hansen and Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima have to quit meeting this way. Not even 24 hours after their terrific down-the stretch duel in the 100 breaststroke (won by Hansen), they were back in the water in the 50 breaststroke on Day 3 in the morning, though in different heats.

After his win in the 100 breaststroke, Hansen’s mood ran the gamut -- of joy, class and a strange bitterness toward the media. He declared that, as team captain, he introduced a rule of not reading the newspapers, though one comment made here last week suggested he wasn’t following his own instructions.

Then there was this thread in the mixed zone, on his victory. “It doesn’t make up for you guys,” Hansen said. “You’re going to sit there and still call him the Olympic champion and me a guy that’s just got a bunch of medals. I’m obviously not going to make it up to your par until I [get] an Olympic [gold] medal.”

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TODAY’S TOP RACE

* Men’s 800 freestyle: OK, so it isn’t an Olympic event for the men. Nevertheless, Oussama Mellouli, of Tunisia and USC, could create a special moment with a first gold medal at the World Championships.

“History-making, it would be amazing for me and my country,” he said.

He had the third-fastest qualifying time in the morning preliminaries on Tuesday morning, going 7 minutes 51.48 seconds, just 0.76 behind leader Craig Stevens of Australia.

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Mellouli’s coach at Trojan Swim Club, Dave Salo, spoke about Mellouli as an icon in Tunisia.

“He had kind of an interview session with the President of Tunisia,” Salo said. “That’s not going to happen in the United States. You’re not going to win a silver medal and have an interview with George Bush.”

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MEDAL TABLE

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* United States: Six. Three gold, two silver, one bronze.

* Australia: Six. Two gold, one silver, three bronze.


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