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[WATCH] Close call! Michael Phelps races a shark

In a video Shark Week released on Twitter, Phelps, with the help of a monofin, closed strong and maintained a speed of about 9,4 kilometres an hour.

A screengrab of Michael Phelps about to race a great white shark.

JOHANNESBURG - The most decorated Olympian of all time Michael Phelps has raced the fastest swimmers on the planet and has come out tops.

To help kick off the 2017 edition of Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week, Phelps travelled to South Africa to race a shark.

In a video released on Twitter, Phelps, with the help of a monofin, maintains a speed of about 9,4km/h as he keeps the race close.

However, not even the 23-time Olympic gold medallist could keep up with the great white shark as he loses the made-for-television race to the shark.

Phelps will always have his many triumphs against human competitors to fall back on after his shark race failure.