Phelps beaten by Peirsol in backstroke


Michael Phelps suffered his first defeat in a year, as Aaron Peirsol won the 100-meter backstroke in a down-to-the-wire finish at the Charlotte UltraSwim on Saturday night.

The world-record holder and two-time Olympic champion got off to a strong start and won the race in 53.32 seconds. Phelps touched in 53.79.

This was the first time the 23-year-old sports icon lost a race since May 17 of last year, when he was beaten by Peirsol in the 200m backstroke at Santa Clara.

“He will definitely be motivated by this,” said Bob Bowman, Phelps’s coach. “He remembers the races more when he gets beat. It’s nice for Michael to remember what it’s like to race at the top level. That’s good for him.”