LONDON -- There would be none of this too-close-of-a-call-type thing for Michael Phelps in the men's 200-meter butterfly Monday night.
Phelps won his semifinal heat in the event he has virtually owned for more than a decade. He had the fourth-fastest time, 1 minute 54.53 seconds, but was a mere 0.28 seconds behind leader Takeshi Matsuda of Japan, who won the other heat.
American Tyler Clary, a first-time Olympian, recorded the fifth-fastest time, 1:54.93. Phelps is the two-time defending Olympic champion in the 200 butterfly and holds the world record in the event.
"I'm fine with that," he said. "Some of those guys close really well. I just wanted to set myself up, not be in Lane 8, not be one the outside, try to move myself closer to center."