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Records tumble all around hapless Phelps

Michael Phelps was one of the few swimmers not to use high-tech full-body suits in this week's World Cup events.
Michael Phelps was one of the few swimmers not to use high-tech full-body suits in this week's World Cup events.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An unprecedented 16 records fall at the World Cup short-course event in Berlin this weekend
  • Swimming superstar Michael Phelps again struggles as he chooses to use an old-style suit
  • High-tech suits will become illegal from January 1 as officials seek to stem tide of new marks
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(CNN) -- Out-of-shape swimming superstar Michael Phelps again struggled as an unprecedented 16 records were set at the World Cup short-course event in Berlin this weekend.

Six new marks were set on Saturday and another 10 on Sunday, but the American could only manage a second in the 200 meters individual medley and a fifth in the 200m butterfly while failing to reach the final of the 200m freestyle.

The 14-time Olympic champion chose to wear an old-style suit as he did with a similar lack of success in the previous leg in Stockholm during the week, and took a back seat to those wearing high-tech outfits -- which will be outlawed from January 1.

"I prefer not to lose, but I knew coming in that it would be very, very hard to win anything," the bearded Phelps told reporters.

"I raced as hard as I could, I've gotten some racing under my belt, and that's what we set out to do. Maybe it's better for me that I lost today. It gives me better motivation for the future.

"I am pleased with the week as much as I can be, with how much training I've done -- which is little, and it shows."

Maybe it's better for me that I lost today, it gives me better motivation for the future
--Michael Phelps

He performed better on Sunday as he finished runner-up in the medley behind South Africa's Darian Townsend, who set a world-record time of one minute 51.55 seconds -- beating Phelps by 1.85 seconds.

On Saturday, his much-anticipated showdown with world 200m freestyle champion Paul Biedermann never eventuated as he finished 12th in the heats, while the supersuit-clad German set a new record in the final and also smashed Grant Hackett's seven-year-old milestone in the 400m freestyle.

Among the women's records to be broken, Australia's Liesel Jones followed up her two gold medals from the Beijing Olympics by setting a new mark on each day.

The 24-year-old won the 200m breaststroke on Sunday in a time of 2:15.42, shaving more than a second off the previous record, while the day before she topped her own leading time in the 100m breaststroke.