Fellow teammate Ian Crocker was the world record holder in this event. Phelps held him off by 0.04 seconds to win gold in a very tightly contested race.
Phelps won gold as part of the preliminary relay team but didn’t swim the final. Phelps offered Ian Crocker the honor of swimming the butterfly leg of the relay final as Crocker won his only gold of the Games.
After breaking his own Olympic record in the preliminaries, Phelps followed up with a bang by breaking his own world record in the finals. Leaving the rest of the field far behind, Phelps swam a blazing 4:03.84 to capture his first gold medal in Beijing.