On Wednesday, U.S. Olympic swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will dive into the preliminary heats of the men's 200-meter individual medley for a much-anticipated showdown between rivals. Less than one-tenth of a second separated these swimmers the last time they competed in this event: Phelps achieved a time of 1:54.84 at the Olympic Trials in June, with Lochte close on his heels at 1:54.93.
In 2008, Phelps secured a gold medal in the men's 100-meter butterfly with an amazing last-second push that got him to the pool wall exactly 0.01 seconds before Serbia's Milorad Cavic.
With champions separated by less time than it takes to blink an eye, how do Olympic judges pick the winner? The answer is in technology: High-speed cameras, lasers and sensors all work together to mark the most accurate and precise times possible for the athletes.
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