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US swimmer Michael Phelps gestures after he competed in the men's 400m individual medley heats swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

Phelps and Rice's choppy start

Michael Phelps barely qualified in the 400-metre individual medley on the opening day of Olympic swimming as he squeaked into the final by a seven-hundredths of a second.  In the final, Phelps finished fourth as his countryman and rival Ryan Lochte won the gold medal. Stephanie Rice not only failed to defend her 400 metre women’s individual medley  title but also lost her world record to 16-year-old Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen.