Milorad Cavic: Lack of Technology Saved Michael Phelps in Beijing Olympics

Serbian swimmer Milorad Cavic said tonight it was only because of the lack of technology that Michael Phelps created history last year winning eight gold medals in Beijing. Cavic said that he did touch the wall ahead of Phelps in the Olympic 100m butterfly final, and technology could again be the reason why Phelps does not win their return clash in Rome.

At the time, last year in China, Cavic was diplomatic after the memorable 100m butterfly final. All television replays and still photography appeared to show he had touched the wall first, but the verdict went to Phelps. Despite protests, the result stood and Phelps went on to later pass Mark Spitz's record by winning eight gold medals at a single Olympics.

Cavic said last year he was just happy to win silver, but after winning the 50m butterfly world title tonight in Italy, Cavic - who wears an Arena suit - was asked about whether a victory in the 100m butterfly over Phelps would be as sweet because he has chosen to wear the obviously slower Speedo swimsuit.

"I've given this a lot of thought," he said when asked the suit question. "Throughout this whole year I've just been hearing a lot of white noise over this suit battle. FINA has spoken, they have approved the suits. I don't like it, but they made a decision.

"Who knows what would have happened last year if ... I guess what I am trying to say is technology is the problem here and I think everybody is blaming the technology.

"Last year it was me and a lot of people blaming Omega for not having a better technology (in their touch pads) because I did touch the wall first, but I did not activate the wall (timing system) first. This is a problem with technology. This is FINA and Omega's problem.

"Now if I was to beat Phelps they would say: 'Cavic beat Phelps because of the suit. This is again FINA's decision and too bad that Speedo has not had the foresight to see this and produce a (fast) suit which would have a Speedo emblem on it."

Cavic said he has put behind him what happened at the Olympics. He added that upon reflection, he may have retired from the sport had he won gold in Beijing.

"What happened in the past Olympics is behind me. I can sit and cry about it, but there's nothing positive which comes of this," he said. "This is behind me. I decided that a long, long time ago. I never lost any sleep over what happened. I won an amazing medal at the Olympic Games, maybe it could have been different, but I decided to put it behind me and go back to work and it's been an incredible motivation to get back into training and try to go after Phelps one more time.

"I think this (the 50m win) is a great confidence booster and I feel good going into the 100m butterfly. It's a great feeling to be crowned world champion and I am very happy and grateful but I believe I am overly-focused on the 100m butterfly to thoroughly enjoy this moment.

"For me losing that race probably saved my career because I have a strong feeling I would have stopped swimming if I had won the gold medal.

"The reality for me is I'm an animal of emotion and excitement and if I feel the desire that there is something left for me to do in swimming and that is to be crowned world champion, then I have to keep going. As long as there is a fire inside my heart I will keep going.

"Because of what happened I did return to swimming with a desire which I probably would not have had if I won the Olympic gold."

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