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Michael Phelps powers his way to victory in the 100-metre butterfly event on Sunday. ((Graham Hughes/Canadian Press))

Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps stole the show again in Montreal, handily winning Sunday's men's 100-metre butterfly race at the Canada Cup swimming competition.

The U.S. swimmer, who has won 16 Olympic medals, didn't come close to beating his own world record, but he led from wire to wire with a time of 51.32 seconds.

Phelps won his only other event at the Olympic Pool, the 200-metre freestyle, on Saturday.

The three-day meet was seen as a test run for the World Aquatic Championships beginning July 16 in Shanghai, which is itself a measuring stick for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Brent Hayden of Vancouver, one of Canada's top swimmers, also won his event Sunday, the 50-metre freestyle.

Katerine Savard of Pont-Rouge, Que. was the hometown hero of the meet, winning three races and setting a new Canadian record in the 50-metre butterfly.

Still, Phelps was the main attraction on the weekend and helped draw 1,800 spectators Sunday, an unusually large crowd for a swim meet.

After his race, the six-time world swimmer of the year stayed behind for more than an hour, signing autographs and posing for photos with hundreds of young fans.

The Baltimore-born swimmer has shown signs of vulnerability since his dominant performance at the 2008 Olympics, where he won eight gold medals.

But Phelps said he is beginning to feel stronger again and was pleased with his performance in the 100-metre butterfly.

"I'm really happy with that and I know I need to do more training in the [200-metre races]," said Phelps, who turned 26 on Thursday.

"It's races like these that I think help me more mentally than anything else... Being able to still see that I can pop a good race here and there gives me a little bit of a confidence."

Phelps could swim up to seven events at the world championships, including the 100- and 200-metre butterfly, the 200-metre freestyle, the 200-metre individual medley and three of the relays.

He won eight medals at each of the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and needs only two Olympic medals to tie the record of 18 won over three Games.

Meanwhile, Hayden said he's optimistic about his chances in Shanghai after winning Sunday despite a sinus infection.

"I'm moving in the right direction now heading into a world champs, and I'm expecting to swim a lot faster there," he said. "I feel like I'm starting to get a little more snap in my arms."

Hayden finished second in the men's 100 freestyle on Saturday, a race he won at the 2007 world championships.

Savard, who won the 100-metre butterfly Sunday, said she wants to carry forward momentum to Shanghai after a strong showing in Montreal.

"It gives me a lot of confidence because I think I can lower my times even more," she said.