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Phelps Wins 200-Meter Backstroke At Santa Clara

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Michael Phelps competes in the men's 200 meter backstroke final during day 3 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 18, 2011 in Santa Clara.

Michael Phelps competes in the men’s 200 meter backstroke final during day 3 of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix at George F. Haines International Swim Center on June 18, 2011 in Santa Clara.

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SANTA CLARA (CBS/AP) –Michael Phelps has found a new event to dominate, easily winning the 200-meter backstroke Saturday night at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix after rival Ryan Lochte was a healthy scratch.

The 14-time Olympic gold medalist led the entire way and touched the wall more than 3 seconds ahead of the competition at 1 minute, 57.05 seconds. Mitchell Larkin was second and Matthew Swanston third.

The event wasn’t part of Phelps’ record haul of eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It’s one of the changes Phelps is considering to his schedule ahead of next year’s London Games.

Lochte was a late scratch for the final because he was competing in the 400 individual medley just before. He was second behind Brazil’s Thiago Pereira in that event.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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