Michael Phelps loses race against great white shark

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By Emma Beswick
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.