Phelps Wins Gold, Attack Victim Stable In Beijing

The United States racked up Olympic victories Sunday as the volleyball team dealt with a fatal attack on a family member and Michael Phelps cleared a hurdle in his quest for eight gold medals in Beijing.

The mother-in-law of the coach of the men's volleyball team was in stable condition Sunday after she was attacked Saturday by a Chinese man with a knife at a tourist spot in Beijing. Her husband was killed in what authorities say was a random attack.

On Sunday, the men's volleyball team took on Venezuela, and NPR's Frank Langfitt tells Liane Hansen that the team was hit hard by the attack.

After Sunday's game, Loy Ball, the team's setter, said people were angry and confused about what had happened Saturday. The team is heavily favored in this Olympics. The men came out hard in Sunday's game, winning two easy sets, then lost the next two. But they came back to win the game.

Sunday was also a success for Americans at "the Water Cube," as the swimming venue is called. Michael Phelps won his first gold medal of the games with a time of 4 minutes 3.84 seconds in the 400-meter individual medley, shattering his own world record.

The 400 IM is one of Phelps' tougher events. The race was close after the first 200 meters, which made Phelps nervous, Langfitt says. In the third leg, the breaststroke — his weakest stroke — he pulled ahead. In the last leg, freestyle, he blew everyone away.

Phelps said afterward that he was in pain.

"It hurt a lot more than I thought it would. ... I'm almost shocked it went that fast," he said. In fact, he beat his own record by a second and a half — a big margin.

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