THERE was no Michael Phelps to contend with, but Nick D’Arcy still got a taste of the challenges he could face at the London Olympic Games when the world’s top-ranked butterflier this year, Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda, blitzed the Australian in the 200 metre butterfly final at the Santa Clara Grand Prix swim meet this morning.
D’Arcy had beaten Phelps at the same event in California last year but was denied a chance of a repeat meeting when the American superstar decided to skip the meet.
However, Matsuda stamped himself on the race, opening a large lead into the final turn, and although D’Arcy made up ground on the final lap, the 2011 world championship silver medalist won in one minute 54.57, almost two seconds ahead of the Australian’s 1:56.43.
Phelps, meanwhile, clocked at time of 1:54.79 in the Longhorn Elite Invitational in Austin, Texas.
A squad of Australian swimmers was among a number of international competitors who used the swim meet, which finished today, as a warm up for the London Olympics.
In other results, Leisel Jones easily won the 100 breaststroke final in 1:07.37.
Stephanie Rice could not follow up her success in the 400 individual medley, the Olympic champion coming second in the 200IM final this morning.
Caitlin Leverenz opened a big lead through 150 metres but Rice came home strongly in the freestyle leg. Leverenz however held on to win in 2:10.81 from Rice (2:11.18).
Emily Seebohm won the 100 backstroke in 1:00.00.