Los Angeles - Michael Phelps was pipped by
training partner Chase Kalisz Friday in the 200m butterfly at the Minneapolis
Pro Swim meeting - the second straight race that the Olympic superstar failed
to top the podium.
Phelps led at the 100m mark with a split of
56.04sec, but Kalisz powered past him to win in 1:58.07 -- well outside the
world-leading 1:52.94 Phelps clocked in winning the US title in San Antonio in
Phelps, aiming to add to his record 18
Olympic gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games, was second in 1:58.38.
Grant Shoults was third in 2:00.41.
While the defeat followed Phelps's
third-place finish in the 100m fly on Thursday, it's no cause for alarm as he's
racing this week in the midst of intensive training.
In other finals on Friday, Missy Franklin
won the 100m backstroke in 1:00.18 to end a victory drought that had stretched
back to the NCAA collegiate championships in March.
Franklin won three events in that meeting,
but hadn't won since turning pro immediately after.
Franklin, who won four gold medals at the
2012 Olympics and six at the 2013 worlds, admitted this week that the slump -
which included just a silver and bronze to show for four events at this year's
World Championships - was demoralizing.
But in her classic ebullient style she said
she was embracing it as "an incredible growth experience" as she
looks toward Rio.
Freestyle phenomenon Katie Ledecky
continued her smooth build-up to the Olympics, winning the 400m freestyle in
Ledecky, who set the world record of
3:59.13 at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in August, notched another
time faster than that of the year's second-ranked performer - Sharon van
Rouwendaal of the Netherlands who clocked 4:03:02 at Kazan.