Other Sport

Phelps, Lochte set for duel

2014-08-05 22:45
Ryanb Lochte and Michael Phelps (Getty Images)

Irvine - Olympic swim king Michael Phelps and reigning Swimmer of the Year Ryan Lochte will wage a series of duels at this week's star-studded US national championships in Irvine, California.

Phelps, who has competed in four meets since coming out of retirement in April, will face the toughest test of his comeback as he is entered in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley.

"The 100 fly feels the best," Phelps, who retired after the 2012 London Games, told reporters on the eve of the August 6-10 nationals. "It's what I've raced the most since I came back."

The national championships will serve as a qualifier for the August 21-24 Pan Pac Championships at the Gold Coast in Australia which will be used to determine the US squad for next year's World Championships in Russia.

Phelps, the all-time Olympic leader with 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall, said he had grown restless and out of shape during retirement. He eventually got in touch with longtime coach Bob Bowman and set in motion his comeback.

"Retirement was pretty boring, to be honest," Phelps, 29, said.

Competition at the nationals should be anything but boring, as Phelps is expected to face rival Lochte, a five-time Olympic champion, in each of his events.

Lochte, also on the comeback trail after tearing ligaments in his knee last November and then re-injuring it, will be even busier as his schedule also includes the 200m freestyle and 200m backstroke.

The women's side also features scintillating showdowns of Olympic champions and the busiest swimmer of them all in 17-year-old Katie Ledecky, who will go against gold medallists Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt.

Ledecky, who as a 15-year-old won the 800m freestyle at the London Games, has entered eight events, including every freestyle race from 50m through 1 500m.

Franklin, who burst to prominence in London with four golds and a bronze, and Schmitt will compete against Ledecky in the 100m and 200m free, while Schmitt is also entered in the 400m freestyle.

The 19-year-old Franklin will also contest the 100m and 200m backstroke, which she swept at the London Games.

Five-time Olympic champion Lochte joked that Phelps must have grown tired of or frustrated by his infatuation with golf.

"Probably his golf isn't going so well," joked Lochte about Phelps ending his retirement. "Bottom line, I'm glad he's back. It's great for the sport."

Read more on:    michael phelps  |  ryan lochte  |  swimming
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather v Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor ... who've you got in Saturday's mega fight?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.