How Did Michael Phelps Fare in the 200-Meter Butterfly Heats?
07/30/2012 AT 08:25 AM EDT
Michael Phelps, whose Olympic campaign began disappointingly, made it to the semifinals of the 200-meter butterfly on Monday, an event in which he is the two-time defending gold medalist.
But he qualified in fifth place, three spots behind teammate Tyler Clary, with whom Phelps has something of a feud.
"I'm very happy with that swim," Phelps, 27, said afterwards, according to Reuters.
Clary, 23, who questioned Phelps's work ethic at training camp recently, was just as happy with his performance. "It felt fantastic," he said. "The time was faster than it was at trials. I hurt a heck of a lot more than I did at trials."
He added: "I said to myself coming into the third wall how well I felt so I'll see if I can bring it home. I am very, very excited. I hope I can go faster tonight. It felt like there was more there."
Asked about his earlier Phelps comments, Clary demurred. "[Phelps] said it almost perfectly," he said. "People are going to say what they want. Let's leave it there."
Dinko Jukic of Austria was the top qualifier with a time of 1:54.79, almost a second faster than Phelps.
The semifinals of the event take place later on Monday, with the final on Tuesday.