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Phelps in consideration to be declared world's greatest athlete

New York, August 14 : American swimmer Michael Phelps is reportedly in consideration to be pronounced the world's greatest athlete.

In competition with him to clinch the title are sports stars like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady and Roger Federer.

"There's only two guys in the conversation - Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps," the New York Daily News quoted Sirius Satellite Radio sports talk host Bruce Murray as saying.

"I'd go with Tiger. But if you picked Phelps, I'd have a hard time disagreeing," Murray said.

Phelps' spectacular performance in Beijing has earned him a huge number of fans.

"I didn't know about him before the Olympics, but I definitely know about him now. Eleven (gold) medals is fantastic," said Josh Henderson, 35, an Olympics watcher interviewed in Manhattan, who was among the many new converts to Phelps fandom.

Woods, with his 14 golf majors, and tennis star Federer, with his 12 grand slam titles, are contenders.

ESPN Radio's Buster Olney has also suggested that Phelps' name is in contention for greatest athlete ever.

"You can make a very strong case that if you were to draw up a list of 10 greatest male athletes of all time, he has to be on that list and maybe in the top three," Olney said.

Story first published: Thursday, August 14, 2008, 18:42 [IST]
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