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It’s Lane 8 For Phelps After Slow Prelim For 400 IM Final

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Michael Phelps on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Getty Images/Clive Rose)

Michael Phelps on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Getty Images/Clive Rose)

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LONDON — Michael Phelps barely qualified in the 400-meter individual medley, Olympic champion Park Tae-hwan was disqualified and world record-holder Paul Biedermann failed to make the final in a surprising first day of swimming at the London Games on Saturday.

Phelps’ slow preliminary time was the biggest shocker of all. The 14-time gold medalist squeaked into the last spot in the eight-man final by seven-hundredths of a second, saying, “That one didn’t feel too good.”

Queen Elizabeth appeared briefly at the Aquatics Centre, but the biggest buzz involved the big names who struggled.

South Korea’s Park won his 400 freestyle preliminary heat, but was disqualified for a false start by a judge on the pool deck. The South Koreans filed a protest with the sport’s world governing body, and the 22-member panel it convened annulled the disqualification later Saturday as a result.

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