LONDON (Reuters) - Barring a major upset or calamity, Michael Phelps will claim one of the few records that he has not yet captured at the London Olympics on Tuesday.
Phelps did not swim in the morning heats but his American team mates ensured he would be in action in the evening finals for two events when they set the fastest time in the 4x200 meters freestyle heats.
The quartet of Charlie Houchin, Matthew McLean, Davis Tarwater and Conor Dwyer posted a combined time of seven minutes 06.75 seconds, nearly three seconds faster than any other country.
Teams normally rest their best swimmers in the relay heats, meaning the Americans will be much faster in the final when Phelps and 400 individual medley winner Ryan Lochte join forces.
Phelps is also in the 200 butterfly final on Tuesday night. If he medals in both events, as expected, he will overtake Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's record tally of 18 Olympic medals.
(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)