Michael Phelps beat Milorad Cavic of Serbia by the thinnest of margins to win the 100-meter butterfly yesterday, tying Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals at a single Olympics. Phelps, seemingly destined for second at the finish, somehow touched the wall first, a scant .01 seconds ahead of Cavic. The Serb's coach filed a protest, but the judges ruled that the cameras didn't lie: Phelps won.
Cavic, who was still in mid-stroke at the wall, took the silver in 50.59. Andrew Lauterstein of Australia earned the bronze in 51.12. "When I did chop the last stroke, I thought that had cost me the race," said Phelps. "But it was actually the opposite. If I had glided, I would have been way too long. I took short, faster strokes to try to get my hand on the wall. I ended up making the right decision."