Phelps wins first Beijing gold

US swimming ace Michael Phelps begins his quest for a record eight gold medals.

    Phelps is aiming for a record eight golds at the Beijing games [GALLO/GETTY]

    George Bush, the US president, and his father, the former US president, joined spectators to watch Phelps compete.

    "I'm pretty happy with that, it was a pretty emotional race," said Phelps, who described Bush's presence as "cool."

    Hungarian Laszlo Cseh took the silver medal with Ryan Lochte of the United States getting bronze.

    IN DEPTH


    Coverage from the 29th summer Olympics

    Phelps, who won six golds in Athens in 2004, has his eyes on an unprecedented eight gold medals in Beijing, and had earlier described the 400m individual medley as his weakest race.

    US swimmer Mark Spitz's holds the current record of seven gold medals taken at one games, the 1972 Munich Olympics.

    Even if he only wins half of his events, Phelps will still hold more golds than any other Olympic athlete in history.

    Basketball blockbuster

    Later on Sunday basketball fans were preparing for a blockbuster showdown between host nation China, led by NBA star Yao Ming, and a star-studded US team.

    The Americans are hoping for a better performance than in Athens four year ago when the team scored a meager bronze.

    Commentators say the evening match, which the US president is also expected to attend, could be the most-watched sporting contest ever in China.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.