Paul Biedermann pulled off one of swimming's greatest upsets when he beat eight-time Beijing Olympics gold medalist Michael Phelps in the 200-meter freestyle at the world championships Tuesday, also snatching his world record.
But in yet another twist to the never-ending saga over high-tech swimsuits, Biedermann acknowledged his polyurethane version gave him an edge over Phelps, who stuck with his once-revolutionary LZR Racer.
"The suits make a difference," Biedermann said. "I hope there will be a time when I can beat Michael Phelps without these suits. I hope next year. I hope it's really soon," St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Meanwhile, Phelps can't wait.
"It's going to be fun next year," he said, "when swimming is back to swimming."
But there's still work to do at these unlike-any-other championships, where 15 world records fell through the first three days of an eight-day meet — matching the total from the last worlds and closing in on the 25 marks set at the Beijing Olympics.
Phelps will swim Wednesday evening in the final of the 200 butterfly. He's also got the 100 fly and a couple of relays left, all of which look like solid chances for gold. But he has always stewed more over the rare losses than savored the frequent wins.
"Theoretically, that was a pretty good swim for me, three-tenths off my best time after taking six months off," said Phelps, referring to his layoff after winning a record eight gold medals at the Olympics. "I mean, I'm not happy, but I mean I know I didn't train much this year. For right now, I'll take it, The Associated Press reports.
Michael Phelps also said that he didn't blame the rubberized suits. He blamed himself: "Coming into this meet, I probably didn't prepare the best way that I should have," he said, The USA Today reports.