World Record Throwback: Michael Phelps, Erik Vendt’s Epic Duel in a 400 IM during 2002 US Nationals – Swimming World News

Michael Phelps and Erik Vendt had one of a all-time good races in swimming with both guys removing underneath Tom Dolan’s WR in a 400 IM during a 2002 US Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Michael Phelps celebrates. Photo Courtesy: George Olsen / Swimming World Archive

This was Phelps’ initial time violation a WR in a 400 IM and a second WR of his career. He was 17.

He swam a 4:11.09 to get underneath Dolan’s 4:11.76 from a 2000 Olympic Games. Vendt was second, also removing underneath a WR with a 4:11.27.

Phelps would go on to mangle a 400 IM WR 7 some-more times in her career. To this day, he has hold on to a WR in that eventuality given primarily violation it here in 2002. It now stands during a 4:03.84 set during a 2008 Olympic Games.

“I knew it would come down to a final stroke,” Phelps told Swimming World at a time, “that whoever got his palm on a wall initial would have a universe record. And we hatred to lose. we usually hate to lose.”

Vendt’s comments were similar. “I knew whoever won a foe would get a universe record,” Vendt pronounced during a time. “This was a best foe ever, and I’m happy to have finished my best time by over dual seconds.”

“We move out a best in any other,” Phelps said.

Phelps and Vendt went on to go 1-2 during a 2004 Olympic Games in Athens dual years later.

Race Results

  1. Michael Phelps, 4:11.09
  2. Erik Vendt, 4:11.27
  3. Tom Wilkens, 4:17.05
  4. Kevin Clements, 4:18.59
  5. Robert Margalis, 4:20.62
  6. Brendan Neligan, 4:22.85
  7. Eric Shanteau, 4:24.23
  8. Eric Donnelly, 4:24.28

Swimming World’s Phillip Whitten wrote during a time:

This was a one everybody was watchful for. This was a foe about that Michael Phelps pronounced yesterday, “Erik and we have something special for we tomorrow.” And as they left a Ready Room, a dual good friends and extreme rivals incited to any other and said; “Let’s give them something to hearten about.”

They did. In spades. But strangely, a hush of expectation extended by a initial 100 meters, a throng clearly holding a common breath. When Phelps strike a wall during 55.97, a throng erupted, and a entertaining usually grew louder.

Vendt finished his fly leg in 58.57 – right where he wanted to be.

As expected, Phelps extended his lead by roughly a second in a backstroke, branch in a mind-boggling 1:59.38. In 1964, Don Schollander became a initial male to mangle dual mins for 200 meters freestyle, going on to win 4 bullion medals during a Tokyo Olympics and apropos a many renouned contestant of a ’64 Games. And here was Phelps, swimming 1:59 for 100 meters of fly and backstroke…on his approach to a 400 IM.

But Vendt is zero if not one of a toughest competitors on a planet. And he came attack back, bursting an implausible 1:10.87 and picking adult 3 seconds on Phelps as a ability throng was on a feet, screaming.

And Vendt wasn’t done. On a initial 50 meters of a freestyle leg, Erik indeed took a lead from Michael, branch during 350 meters with a lead of 14-hundredths of a second.

But Michael was distant from through. He pushed off a wall, doing 6 discerning underwater dolphin kicks, and was behind in front. With 25 meters to go, Erik had hauled his opposition in, once again, and retaken a little lead. “I yet we had it then,” Vendt pronounced later. So did most of a crowd.

That’s when Michael dug deeper and inched ahead. The dual group surged for a wall, and it was a 17 year-old phenom who strike a pads first.

The throng erupted…and a entertaining went on and on.

World Record Progression (last 15 records)

  • 4:17.41, Alex Baumann, CAN (1984)
  • 4:16.12, David Wharton, USA (1987)
  • 4:15.42, Tamas Darnyi, HUN (1987)
  • 4:14.75, Tamas Darnyi, HUN (1988)
  • 4:12.36, Tamas Darnyi, HUN (1991)
  • 4:12.30, Tom Dolan, USA (1994)
  • 4:11.76, Tom Dolan, USA (2000)
  • 4:11.09, Michael Phelps, USA (2002)
  • 4:10.73, Michael Phelps, USA (2003)
  • 4:09.09, Michael Phelps, USA (2003)
  • 4:08.41, Michael Phelps, USA (2004)
  • 4:08.26, Michael Phelps, USA (2004)
  • 4:06.22, Michael Phelps, USA (2007)
  • 4:05.25, Michael Phelps, USA (2008)
  • 4:03.84, Michael Phelps, USA (2008)

History of a Hall of Fame Aquatic Center in Fort Lauderdale

In 1926, one of a misfortune hurricanes on record sucker-punched Broward County, murdering an estimated 325 people and call Fort Lauderdale’s mayor to announce martial law. It also paved a approach for a city to welcome a thought of Commodore Auylen Harcourt Brook, who believed compelling swimming and a building of a “concrete pond” would fuel a bum internal economy and assistance reanimate a area.

The Fort Lauderdale Sentinel supported a thought of a bond issue, and on Jun 28, 1927, proclaimed: “With such a bath house, a glorious beach, now particularly popular, will turn distant some-more renouned and a genuine captivate in sketch visitors to a city, both summer and winter.”

Estimated to cost $90,000 and criticized for costing $130,000, a Las Olas Casino came to be deliberate one of a city’s best ever investments.

Fort Lauderdale Casino Pool; Photo Courtesy: Calis Publishing Company

In Nov 1961, a Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) of a United States released a ask for proposals from cities meddlesome in hosting a National Swimming Hall of Fame. Fort Lauderdale saw this as an event to reinstate a aging Casino Pool and to emanate “the informative item of a museum that outlines one of a biggest traditions of a city.”

In early 1962, Mayor Burry, after consulting with Florida’s Governor, Farris Bryant, combined a “Mayor’s Swimmers’ Hall of Fame Citizens Committee” that enclosed a whole City Commission and 30 county leaders. On Nov 9, 1962, a City Commission unanimously approved”

“A fortitude indicating that a City of Fort Lauderdale is meddlesome in substantiating a trickery famous as “The Swimming Hall of Fame” in a City of Fort Lauderdale and is in a position to benefaction a skeleton therefore.”

On Nov 27, 1962, a AAU unanimously comparison Fort Lauderdale’s bid over a bids of Houston and Louisville.

The success of a International Swimming Hall of Fame as a motorist of mercantile growth did not go neglected by other cities. By a mid-1980’s, as other cities emulated a instance and as new standards were developed, a city satisfied it was time to ascent and reconstruct a whole complex.

After dual years of construction, a newly renovated trickery non-stop in Aug 1991, to horde a USA Swimming National Championships with dual new universe annals set.

Over a years, a International Swimming Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex has been one of a city’s primary attractions by sketch inhabitant and general media courtesy by a competitions, exhibitions, conferences and a singular one-of-a-kind museum that has brought Presidents, Senators, Princes and celebrities to this city for roughly 50 years.

On Jul 10, 2018 a Fort Lauderdale City Commission certified staff to negotiate a design-build agreement for a renovation of a Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center with Hensel Phelps Construction Company in a not-to-exceed volume of $27,000,000.

Hall of Fame Aquatic Center restoration refurbish as of Aug 14, 2019; Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Construction association Hensel Phelps was awarded a design-build agreement on Aug 21, 2018 formed on their possess industry and a pattern criteria package in a City’s Request for Proposals surveying specifications, mandate and 30% schematic designs. At a same City Commission meeting, a Commission certified a new 30-year lease with a International Swimming Hall of Fame museum.

The new franchise agreement and modernizing of a metropolitan pool trickery will revive Fort Lauderdale’s station in a rival swimming and diving universe by stability a good tradition of nautical sports, that will heighten a internal village and enthuse new generations of swimmers and divers.

New elements of a pool trickery pattern embody a new categorical foe pool (53m X 25m), a new diving pool (25m x 25m) and dive building with 5 height levels and mixed 1m and 3m springboards, a new spa, enlightening pool and grandstand building with witness restrooms, concessions, sheet office, and steel bleachers to accommodate 1,500 spectators. Repairs will be done to a existent training pool (50m x 25y) with new filtration, surfacing and gutters. Additional site improvements will embody new aspect parking and drainage system, new track lighting, landscaping, sidewalks, and a new categorical entrance plaza. The restoration of a men’s and women’s locker bedrooms will be addressed underneath a apart charge sequence for pattern services regulating a pattern organisation from a City’s stability services contract.

Artist’s delivery for a Fort Lauderdale Hall of Fame Aquatic Center renovations; Photo Courtesy: Hensel-Phelps

The City has recently budgeted an additional 2.7 million dollars to embody a 27 scale diving high building that will be a usually one in a western hemisphere.

Proposed 27 scale diving tower; Photo Courtesy: Hensel-Phelps


  1. crazy this was a day Phelps initial warranted a universe record that he would reduce several times until a Beijing Olympics to a 4:03 where a record sits today. his usually remaining universe record 😥

  2. Never gets old!

  3. Faster In Fort Lauderdale! 👏🏻🌤🌴🌊

  4. The best thing about a foe like this , a chairman that is usually there, is pulling we over your self. If Micheal didn’t have Erik he wouldn’t have left so fast. we demeanour for people that assistance me float faster. NO KIDS. we usually do improved when we have someone to float against.

  5. Proma Mitra 🤪🤪🤪

  6. Lix AG

    • Gabriela Perezcortes enséñame

  7. I adore these memories! Please keep this going 🙏🏼

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