Ye Shiwen of China leaves after women's 200m individual medley heats of swimming at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, Britain, July 30, 2012. Ye Shiwen was qualified for the semifinal with 2:08.90. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua)
LONDON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- China's Ye Shiwen showed that her world record display in the women's 400 meters medley was no flash in the pan when she clocked the fastest time in the heats for the 200 meters event on Monday morning.
The 16-year-old was over a second and a half ahead of the second fastest qualifier as she once again showed her power in the breaststroke and freestyle.
Ye finished ahead of Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry and American swimmer Caitlin Leverenz while another Chinese swimmer Li Jiaxing also got through to the last 16.
"I am very satisfied and a little bit surprised by my result," commented Ye after her race.
Elsewhere, Michael Phelps took a small step towards convincing doubters that he is still capable of winning medals in the London Olympics, when he cruised into the semi-finals of the men's 200 meters butterfly on Monday morning.
The American followed his excellent swim in the second leg of the men's 4 x 100 meters freestyle relay final on Sunday with a comfortable swim to qualify for the semi-finals with the fifth fastest time.
Austrian Dinko Juric qualified with the fastest time, while two Chinese swimmers Wu Peng and Chen Yin, who both swam in the same heat, both made it through to the last 16.
Chen will be optimistic of taking a medal after finishing fourth in the World Championships in Shanghai last year, while Juric will hope to improve on his World Championship display, after clocking the fastest time in the heats before failing to get near the medal positions.
"It's a bit like it was in Shanghai where I finished first in the heats," said Juric, who added that he had felt comfortable in the race and strong in the closing stages.
Italy's Federica Pellegrini showed she was in the mood after missing out in a medal in the women's 400 meters freestyle on Sunday when the heats of the women's 200 meters freestyle got under way.
The world record holder clocked the fastest time in the heats and was followed into the semis by American duo, Alison Schmitt and Missy Franklin.
"All my bitterness (at finishing fifth on Sunday) finished there. I knew I gave everything I had and I can't bang my head against a wall," said Pellegrini.
"I am finding the motivation in myself without waiting for my body's reactions. I am just trying to go strong from start to finish,"she added.
Sunday's 400 meters gold medallist, Camille Muffat qualified down in twelfth place, perhaps not surprising following her triumph on Sunday.
"I didn't sleep very well last night. I wanted to sleep, but obviously I was very excited and I kept checking my medal,"said the French woman.
Meanwhile China's Wang Shijia scraped into the last 16 with the 14th fastest time.