Michael Phelps‘ return to competition was hyped by the launch of his MP brand, designed by Aqua Sphere. While any competition with Phelps is exciting, the Mesa meet proved to be more of a mid-season testing ground.
Phelps looked fit, strong, and he was clearly training-through Mesa. Coach Bob Bowman said he’d been making him work, and — compared to last year — Phelps actually has a real base from which to develop. Phelps echoed Bowman’s thoughts, saying he was essentially tapered all last year. “I swam the same time over and over” (re: 100 fly), Phelps laughed.
With little to go on this early in the season, let’s go for it. Let’s play the Phelps prediction game. Last year I made bold predictions and I’m sticking with them. Call it blind positivity or a glass-half-full mentality, but I think Phelps will add more than medals to his storied history between now and next year. I think he’ll inch toward new world records, and I believe he’s got a great 100 free in him, one we have never witnessed.
WHAT WE KNOW
Phelps is not training for the 400 IM. That should help his speed, and we know (from Mesa) he’s going to be training more 200 fly in practice, but only for his 100 fly stroke, stroke-count and feel. These are all positive signs.
MEL PREDICTIONS FOR U.S. Nationals
100m butterfly – 50.49
100m freestyle – 47.87
200m IM – 1:54.9
***I think the times above are a mere step toward 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, and SwimSwam will play the prediction game for Olympic Trials as early as December of this year.
What are your Michael Phelps predictions for the U.S. Nationals?
This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.