By ALLON SINAI, AP
Itai Chammah booked his place at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing on Thursday by finishing 16th overall in the 200-meter backstroke at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Melbourne.
The 22-year-old, who became the first Israeli swimmer to guarantee his place in China, clocked a personal best time of 2 minutes 0.93 seconds in the morning heats and advanced to the semifinals from the 14th position.
Chammah's time in an evening semifinal was .86 seconds slower than his morning result, but even though he finished last among the 16 semifinalists, he is nevertheless assured of Olympic participation.
Ehud Segal also raced the 200 backstroke on Thursday, clocking a time of 2 minutes 2.02 seconds in the heats and finishing 22nd overall.
Phelps sets third mark in three days
Michael Phelps set his third world record in as many days, winning the 200-meter individual medley.
Phelps used the same strategy he employed in winning the 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly - get the lead off the starting blocks and stay there.
His time of 1 minute 54.98 seconds bettered his old mark of 1:55.84 set in August at the Pan Pacific championships.
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