Viewers cry foul as Michael Phelps loses race to computer-generated great white shark

The simulation shark beat Olympian Michael Phelps by two seconds.
The simulation shark beat Olympian Michael Phelps by two seconds.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TWITTER VIDEO
Michael Phelps lost to a computer-generated great white shark by 2 seconds.
Michael Phelps lost to a computer-generated great white shark by 2 seconds. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TWITTER VIDEO

Viewers who tuned in to Discovery Channel on Sunday (July 23) night (Monday morning, Singapore time) to watch Olympic legend Michael Phelps race an actual great white shark were left sorely disappointed.

Phelps, 32, specially donned a shark skin-like suit and mono-fin for the hour-long Phelps Vs Shark: The Battle For Ocean Supremacy special, but his opponent turned out to be a computer-generated one.

The much-hyped show, which was filmed in June, kicked off the channel's annual Shark Week programme.

The simulated shark clocked 36.1 seconds over the 100m open-water race off Mossel Bay in South Africa to beat Phelps, who swam the distance in 38.1 seconds.

Phelps appeared to be neck-and-neck with his opponent at the 50m-mark, but was left trailing in its wake towards to the end.

Footage of the race showed Phelps racing against an animated, super-imposed shark beside him, drawing outraged replies from netizens who said they felt cheated.

"Should've called it Michael Phelps vs a Computer Generated Simulation. Huge letdown @Discovery," wrote Twitter user @jkoz19.

Another Twitter user, @tayyynicole17, said: "I just wasted an hour of my life watching Phelps get beat by a not real shark."

Phelps, who was heard saying that the water was very cold as he entered the water, tweeted after the race: "Rematch? Next time... warmer water."