Washington - Michael Phelps, winner of a
record 18 Olympic gold medals, will continue his quest to reach the Rio Games
at the US Winter Swim Nationals next week.
Phelps, Missy Franklin and Natalie Coughlin
are among the Olympic champions expected at the meet, set for December 3-5 at
King County Aquatic Centre in Federal Way, Washington.
More than 40 US national team swimmers are
among about 700 set to compete, but most eyes will be upon Phelps, who was
named US Swimming's male athlete of the year despite not competing at the World
Championships in Russia.
A second drunk-driving arrest in 2014 led
to Phelps being removed from the US worlds team, leaving him to swim at the US
nationals in Texas, where he won the 100 and 200 butterfly crowns with the
fastest times in the world this year and took the 200 individual medley as
"I can't tell you how happy I am to
feel like me again," said Phelps, who announced last week that he and his fiancée
are expecting a baby next year before the Rio Olympics.
Phelps has won 22 Olympic medals, including
a record eight golds at the Beijing Games as well as six in Athens in 2004 and
four in London in 2012. With an Olympic debut at age 15 as a 200m butterfly
finalist in Sydney, Phelps seeks his fifth Olympic appearance next year. He
turns 31 next June.