Until the day comes, who can really say but the man himself?
Michael Phelps, as we have all observed with giddy and childish excitement, is having the meet of his life. His 1:52.94 200 Butterly was the best he’s ever swam that race, according to the man himself (even better than when he broke the world record). He’s put it all out there, also going 50.45 in the 100 fly (narrowly beating the time thrown down by a fired up Chad Le Clos) and is slated to put up another staggering performance tonight in the 200 IM.
Only one question remains: is he really swimming the 200 breastroke on the last day of competition at the Phillips66 National Champs? When we asked him, he was coy as usual. However, he did poke at a few things.
1. He’s excited to race Reece Whitley, and young up-and-coming 6’8″ breastroke star.
2. His best time may very well have been swam before Reece was born.
3. He will probably swim prelims.
I say Phelps is going to do it, at least in the morning. He’s having a sensational meet, why stop now? This year he has been all about challenging himself to go above and beyond, just as he did in his preparation for Beijing, and this falls right in line. Swimming the 400 free in the prelims of the Mesa Arena Pro Swim Series stop (where he tied Katie Ledecky), adding the 200 butterfly back into his repertoire, and now swimming the 200 breast at his taper meet a year out of the olympics. It can’t hurt, he’s got nothing to lose, and who knows, maybe he will once again put up a time that will have jaws dropping faster than… well, his race.