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Michael Phelps loses race against great white shark


South Africa

Michael Phelps loses race against great white shark

Swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, yesterday (July 23) ‘raced’ a great white shark and lost.

In a 100m, open-water race in South Africa, the retired athlete took on a toothy opponent as part of the Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’.

Spoiler alert: The two competitors weren’t in the water at the same time for “safety reasons”, according to Phelps.

Researchers from the channel first recorded the shark’s time and then the 32-year-old completed the course in the same conditions off the coast of South Africa.

The Twittersphere expressed its disappointment that the athlete didn’t race a real shark, but rather a simulated one.


In an attempt to even the race up the American wore a ‘monofin’, which mimicked the shark’s movements and significantly increased his speed; he swam the 100m stretch in 38.1 seconds.

However, he was not able to keep up with the great white, which is capable of swimming 40km/h in short bursts, and lost by two seconds.

The retired athlete took to Twitter demanding a rematch and calling for warmer water for the next race.