25 Jul 2011

US swim team's dominance ends in Shanghai

7:09 am on 25 July 2011

Swimming superstar Michael Phelps says his United States team would use the pain of defeat to Australia in the 4x100m freestyle relay as motivation as they hunt Olympic gold in London next year.

The much-vaunted US team watched their seven-year winning streak in world championships and Olympic Games end as they finished a disappointing third in the showpiece race of the first night of swimming action in Shanghai.

Australia's James Magnussen had the better of 14-time Olympic gold medallist Phelps in the first leg and they kept their grip to consign the United States to their first defeat in the race since the 2004 Olympics.

Phelps, who has 22 world titles, also suffered his first loss in the race at a major event since the 2004 Athens Games.

The Americans also won world gold in 2007 and 2009, as well as the 2008 Olympic title -- one of Phelps' eight wins in Beijing.