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2016 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials - Day 7

Source: Tom Pennington / Getty

The showdown between Michael Phelps and a series of sharks finally went down, and it went exactly like everyone expected. Try as he might, and with the assistance of some technology meant to help him close the gap, Phelps still got crushed by the ocean’s ultimate killing machines.

Though the Discovery Channel billed it as a true race against sharks, anyone expecting Phelps to legitimately go head-to-head with a shark was left sorely disappointed. What actually happened was more of a series of simulations; an aquatic team tracked the speed of several types of sharks in their native environments, then used those projections to give Phelps a time to swim against. It was an understandable move—you try throwing sharks in an Olympic-sized pool and holding a race—it was still a bit of a letdown.

In the first race, Phelps was tasked with battling two shark simulations at once: a reef shark, and the more well-known hammerhead shark. Although Phelps ended up beating the reef shark when it, uh, tired down the stretch, the hammerhead crushed him by over three seconds, despite Phelps having a special fin on his feet to put him closer to a level playing field.

But the headliner for the evening, the great white shark, was a little harder to corral. It took the team with Phelps a lot longer to get a good read on the shark’s speed, which seems like it’s really just a matter of them trying to stretch the whole thing out into an hour.

But when it finally went down, Phelps was indeed not as fast as a shark. The great white outclassed him by two full seconds, even though once again he had the assistance of technology by his side.


Article Courtesy of Complex

Picutre Courtesy of Tom Pennington and Getty Images

Video Courtesy of Discovery Channel and YouTube

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