Michael Phelps didn’t want to talk with us at the Longhorn Aquatics Invite. No one really wanted to talk to media in Austin. Elites wanted to test their speed and go home to start tapering.
Phelps’ 100 fly was spot-on. 51.6 is on the mark. His 100 free was solid. I think we all expected a faster 200 free, but only because of a report about him potentially trying to post a time strong enough to secure a spot on the 4×200 Olympic relay. I predicted a 1:46. Phelps swam a 1:48. He was not happy about the swim, but shrugged it off. I pushed him a little about resting/tapering, asking if — after all of his base-work — he needed more rest. I thought he’d poke fun at Coach Bowman for more rest (Bowman standing just off-camera). Phelps did not.
I think Phelps and Bowman see the next two months as a long summer. While everyone is focused on great swims in Omaha at US Olympic Trials, Team Phelps-Bowman will be playing the game of swimming fast enough to secure their schedule for the Olympics in Rio.
My predictions remain the same for the summer, but I think it’s important to note times don’t matter in an Olympic year. It’s about the color of the medals. That’s what will be written in the history books.
49.9 – 100m fly – gold
1:51.9 – 200m fly – gold
1:53.82 – 200m IM – gold
47.7 – 100m free – 4×100 relay – gold
***I remember banging the drum about the 100 free in 2015, saying Phelps is a 47 low. I still think he has a 47 low in him, and I think that if he focused on the 100 free he could crack 47 seconds. At this point his focus is clearly 100-200 fly and 200 IM. Not 100 free. Maybe we can convince him to stick around until 2020 for sprints alone? Could he do that, swim 100 free & fly until he’s 35 years old? I’d certainly like to see it.)
200 free? I think he swims a controlled 1:45 to secure a spot on the 4×200 free relay. I think Team USA wins gold in this event as well.
I don’t think Phelps will be fully rested at US Olympic Trials after seeing his swims in Austin, Texas. He’s done so much base-work and pushed his strength so far in the weight room, I think he needs an entire summer to systematically step it down and recover.
What do you think?
You can follow Michael Phelps on Twitter here.
Follow him on Instagram here.
See Michael Phelps’ MP HQ here.
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.