Michael Phelps, arguably the greatest Olympic athlete of all time, took on a great white shark in a 100-metre sprint swim on Monday to launch the Discovery Channel's Shark Week. That's right, a shark.
Dubbed "Great Gold vs. Great White," this was no ordinary race for the 23-time Olympic gold medallist. In the end just two seconds separated Phelps and his toothy-opponent. The athlete completed the open ocean course in 38.1 seconds but was bested by the ocean's most dangerous predator which managed it in 36.1 seconds.
Check it out for yourself below.
Phelps, known for his two-metre wingspan and intimidating pre-swim game face that has resulted in his success in the pool, had to adapt his swimming technique for the race in waters off the coast of South Africa to make sure he knew all he could about his cartilaginous challenger and attempt to keep up.
While the Olympian has previously shown his prowess in enduring long distances while maintaining swim speed, great white sharks can grow up to five metres in length and move as quick as 55km/h, but those speeds are generally limited to short bursts of energy, rather than a consistent movement.
And for any of you who might be a little worried that Phelps was in any danger during the swim, no need to fret. Each of the competitors took to the water individually before the shark was super-imposed next to Phelps for the TV screening, according to reports.
In fact, the race was so close, the man commonly known as 'The Baltimore Bullet' has already set his sights on a rematch.
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