Michael Phelps Drops 200 Free From Olympic Schedule

  157 Braden Keith | July 02nd, 2012 | Featured, London 2012 Olympics, National, News

Michael Phelps has scratched the 200 free from his Olympic schedule, his coach Bob Bowman reported via Twitter today.

“MichaelPhelps will be removing the individual 200 freestyle from his Olympic program. This will give him a full slate of 7 events.”

The move is a stunning one, after he won the individual men’s 200 freestyle event at the Olympic Trials that wrap up today in Omaha. His final time of 1:45.77, just bettering Ryan Lochte, was probably his most disappointing of the week, where he not only missed a World leader, he didn’t even go a season-best time.

Bowman explained the decision further that “This change will allow him to focus more energy on relays for Team USA.”

That means Ricky Berens is the new entry in the race for Team USA when they travel to London. For Berens, a self-described “relay-swimmer,” that would be his third swim and only his first individual race in two Olympic appearances. Berens is unlikely to medal, while Phelps would’ve been a strong favorite to end up on the podium somewhere.

With this move, Lochte and Frenchman Yannick Agnel will be the two favorites in the men’s 200 free; Lochte is the defending World Champion, and Agnel has looked spectacular this morning after switching his focus from the 400 free to the shorter 100-200 schedule this season.

Based on Bob Bowman’s assertion that Phelps will still swim 7 events, we can expect that means that he’s been assured a place on the 400 free relay (though he didn’t swim the 100 free individually) and the 800 free relay, even with the scratch.

This was probably the shakiest of Phelps’ potential 5 individual medals going into the Olympics, and should really strengthen his run to hold off Lochte in the 200 IM and possibly catch his rival in the 400 IM.

We’ve heard a common question about whether or not this bumps Davis Tarwater onto the team after he finished 7th (usually 6 are taken). Shortly after Phelps’ announcement, it was revealed that Tarwater would be added to the team.

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157 Comments on "Michael Phelps Drops 200 Free From Olympic Schedule"


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CraftySquire
4 years 1 month ago

Smart move. There was a very good chance he woulda failed to.make the.podium in that event.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

I agree.

very smart move.

Also, 200 free does not give him the chance to three-peat.

Keith
4 years 1 month ago

I agree that if he was to drop one this was it. It falls on a good place in the schedule for him to not have an individual event. Plus it still gives him the opportunity to 3-peat in four individual races.

Liliana
4 years 1 month ago

It should have been 400 IM…

Reed
4 years 1 month ago

Second.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

No way Phelps is ditching 400 IM.

I’ve been saying this all along since last year when the London schedule is published.

Bob Bowman is interested in the “last symphony”

while Phelps is interested in records and his place in history. 200 free does not really add to that, while it could potentially leave him without a medal, so Bowman and Phelps make the best decision.

Phelps want to THREE PEAT.

100/200 fly and 200/400 IM will give him that.

And yet when I said this, I was attacked by Phelps mililitant fans.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

This decision not to swim 200 free also proved that I was correct when I got into huge debate with a couple posters here when they claimed that Phelps was “coasting”, “dogging”, and “gamesmanships” in the 200 free final.

Phelps will NOT swim an event if he’s pretty much sure he won’t win it, and based on the final (when he gave it all and yet only recorded 1:45high) it just seems Phelps knows that he won’t win 200 free in London.

junker23
4 years 1 month ago

He’s basically a lock for a medal in that event, though. He could easily end up 5th in the 200 Free. In terms of a total medal count (which is what I think he’s going for now) it makes more sense to swim the 400 IM over the 200 Free.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

It’s one of the smartest decisions of all time. I say for many months now that Michael Phelps couldn’t swim all these events without a risk for his 100 fly. It’s a good news for Ricky Berens who has never swum on individual in a big competition and it’s also a good news for the american men’s 4X100 free relay. You will have a fresh Michael Phelps at the start. Now I hope Missy Franklin will take the same decision.

milly
4 years 1 month ago

“one of the smartest decisions of all time”? i can think of a number of smarter decisions in the history of mankind. for example, the decision to invent the crunchwrap supreme. mmmm.

FREEBEE
4 years 1 month ago

just let it ride–gotta luv BOBO GIGI’s enthusiasm

Craig H
4 years 1 month ago

Perhaps, he did not mentioned it, but Bobo Gigi is French. As a frenchman, there is much enthusiasm. Hyperbole is a way of life.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

I’m happy because I repeat for many months now that Michael couldn’t have 8 events to swim and many people thought I was wrong. Michael is older and has to make choices.
Missy has to make the same thing now to focus on the 100 back. I repeat that very often. My lobbying will pay off. She has a great coach who will take the smartest decision.

Mitch
4 years 1 month ago

The 200 back won’t be close.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Bobo Gigi,

and you also want Phelps to ditch 400 IM. It didn’t happen.

Hopeful
4 years 1 month ago

Wasn’t Kara Lynn Joyce named to the last team after a 7th place finish in the 100 free when Dara Torres dropped the individual? Hope Tarwater makes it…

completelyconquered
4 years 1 month ago

I like it. He is gonna bust it big time when he leads off that 800 free relay.

Jean Michel
4 years 1 month ago

He will be stronger for the relays ! no doutb about it ! It shows how much he loves the <usa to medal on the 400 free relay ! thanks Michael , great move .

Joyce
4 years 1 month ago

What the hell. 🙁

Eric
4 years 1 month ago

He is a guaranteed silver in the 4 im even if lochte beats him. The same can’t be said for the 2 free, so it’s a smart drop.

gosharks
4 years 1 month ago

This is a brilliant decision. This is the only one of Phelps’s individual events in which he would not be able to become a three-time Olympic Champion by winning. It also allows him to be fresh for the 4×100 free relay where (unfortunately) a medal is hinging on his amazing performance. He could also lead off the 800 free relay in a world best time (maybe). He (or Bowman) also recognizes the incredible international talent in this event that now Lochte has to deal with on his own.

I believe that Kara Lynn Joyce, after finishing 7th in the 100 free in 2008, was named as a relay alternate after Dara Torres (1st place) dropped the individual event.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Goshark,

I totally agree.

this news proved what I said all along that Phelps is very much interested in records and his place in history.

bobo gigi
4 years 1 month ago

Yes I wanted he drops the 400 IM and the 200 free to focus on 3 events on individual and on the 3 relays. He drops the 200 free and I’m happy about that decision. And I agree. Michael wants to make history in the 400 IM. But after what I’ve seen in Omaha it will be very tough to beat Ryan Lochte. But Michael is a genius so we’ll see.

4 years 1 month ago

They’re traveling to Beijing?

Liliana
4 years 1 month ago

Nick Thoman thinks Davis Tarwater is in. We really need info about this.

Daaaave
4 years 1 month ago

Is there a rule or otherwise compelling reason *not* to bring Tarwater even if at most he’s a morning relay swimmer (if that, depending on the next few weeks)? If it were simply a coaching staff decision, wouldn’t they bring him? I can’t imagine budget is a decision driver for one additional athlete at this point.

Liliana
4 years 1 month ago

As far as I know, Phelps stays in the 4×200 free relay, so there’s no room for Tarwater. USA still have 6 swimmers for the relay, they don’t need 7th swimmer, basically.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Even if Phelps swim 4×200 free, by rules, Tarwater is in.

shiki
4 years 1 month ago

On that day, Berens will compete 200free, Grevers will compete 100back. So the relay members are: Phelps-Jones-Feigen-Adrian???

Ole 99
4 years 1 month ago

This is actually not all that shocking. Dropping the 200 Free has everything to do with “Michaels goals”. Phelps was clearly not going to be able to repeat the 8 gold medal performance of 2008 (the reality of the 4 x 100 Free relay alone would end that quest). Look at what events Michael is swimming: 400 IM; 200 IM; 200 Fly; 100 Fly; 4 x 100 MR; 4 x 200 FR; and 4 x 100 FR. All of those events, save the 4 x 100 FR, Phelps has won the last two olympics. As was made clear when he swam the 400 IM at trials, Phelp’s goal is to be the first man to win the same event in three olympics. If Phelps can not beat Lochte in the 400 IM, then Kitajima will most likely get that honor. Kitajima stands a fair chance of laying claim to winning the 100 and 200 Breast in three olympics. Phelps clearly wants to surpass that total.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Ole,

Yes this is what I’ve been saying since last year.

But I was attacked and ridiculed, not only here but in other swimming sites

Karen_Mizzou
4 years 1 month ago

David Marsh, Davis’s coach at SwimMAC, just tweeted that Davis is officially a part of the Olympic team.

USSwimFan
4 years 1 month ago

Tarwater would be a great addition. With Ricky having to swim the individual 200 free why have him swim an AM prelim swim in the 4×200. Let Dwyer, McLean, Houchin and Tarwater swim it…whoever emerges with the fastest split, can then swim with a fresh Phelps, Lochte and Berens.

Daaaave
4 years 1 month ago

TARWATER IS IN!!!

Liliana
4 years 1 month ago

OMG seriously?! 😀

don
4 years 1 month ago

So does that mean they will go to the 8th place if Schmidt and franklin drop the 2 free’s as Garrett thinks might happen/

Craig H
4 years 1 month ago

Why the hell would Schmidt drop the 200 free?!

don
4 years 1 month ago

My bad, I meant Volmer..

This was Garrett’s scenario:

The rest of this final wasn’t nearly as good as Schmitt’s swim; the runner-up was Missy Franklin to grab her second individual swim as well, but much slower than expected in 1:56.79. Dana Vollmer was 3rd in 1:57.47.

Here’s the interesting scenario: I don’t think that either one of those, based on these results, will swim this race individually in London. I can see a scenario where both scratch to focus on the relays and their other individual events; and in fact I think it’s likely.

That would leave Virginia’s Lauren Perdue as the second American entry for the 200 free at the Olympics. That would be absolutely absurd, coming off of back surgery in the spring, and could become one of the amazing stories of this American Olympic Team – along similar lines as Breeja Larson in that 100 breaststroke.

Wirotomo
4 years 1 month ago

it might be. But subject to rule of “maximum 12 relay-only swimmers” that permitted by FINA for country that have 6 relay attendances in Olympics like USA.

Dan
4 years 1 month ago

Look at the schedule for London. 400IM is first (July 28), and Phelps has to race 800M in 24 hours. By skipping 200 free, he has zero races before the 4×100 relay finals July 29. The US needs every tenth of a second in that relay and Phelps will be at his best. He also can exert maximum effort on the 400 IM – which will be required to beat Lochte and be the first man to win three consecutive golds (before Kitajima has a chance). Very smart scheduling. Lochte will swim two 400 IM races and two 200 free races over the first two days. He shouldn’t swim the 4×100 (just in case anyone thought he should).

4 years 1 month ago

Not surprised. Look at the 400 free relay. With all the guys making the team individually, they didn’t NEED Lezak, but he is going. They could basically swim two different relays for the 4 x 100 andnose the 4 x 200. It keeps the A’s as fresh as possible. Everybody wins, literally.

don
4 years 1 month ago

Not the same thing. They always takes 6 for relays, have they ever gone 7?

4 years 1 month ago

If Phelps is scratched for the 200 free and not being taken for it, making it 6 with Tarwater. They don’t need to take Lezak like they don’t need to take Tarwater, but they are taking 6.

4 years 1 month ago

they took seven in 2008: adrian, grevers, wildman-tobriner, phelps,jones, weber-gale, and lezak.

Wirotomo
4 years 1 month ago

Australia had 2 different teams (in preliminary and in final) on female 800m relay in 2008 Olympics, they got gold. As long as you got “depth” it didn’t matter how many person you choose to swim.
But again you can only have 12 relay-only swimmers. so be wise. 🙂

gosharks
4 years 1 month ago

Phelps wasn’t taken to Beijing in the 4 x 100 free relay.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

MIchael Lin,
Phelps only swam prelims in the 100 free, so he wasn’t taken as part of the 100 free swimmers

Neptune
4 years 1 month ago

No offence to Tarwater but kind of a cheap way to become an Olympian if this is true. The guy has had multiple chances for two trials and did not earn a place on the roster. Really good swimmer, but a lot of of really good people have been close yet still cannot call themselves Olympians.

Daaaave
4 years 1 month ago

Yeah, he should probably decline, or at least insist an asterisk be next to his name on wikipedia.

So should Lezak, since he was “close” to making the final for the 100 but didn’t “earn” it, and had to benefit from a big fave from Lochte for the chance to swim.

Neptune
4 years 1 month ago

Being bumped into the final and earning it and opposed to being in the final and flat just not gettind the spot??? The top six is the selection format for the relays. Phelps will still be on the relay so Tarwater is still 7th. Not like Berens being bumped to the ind swim!

Ole 99
4 years 1 month ago

Interestingly enough, Adrian was 9th in the semifinals of the 2008 trials. He only got in the finals, where he finished fourth, because Locthe scratched.

WHOKNOWS
4 years 1 month ago

Adrian tied for ninth place with Alex Righi with a time of 48.89. Adrian won the swim-off 49.01-49.10. He placed fourth with a time of 48.46 in the finals.

Phil
4 years 1 month ago

False. If a swimmers scratches, what does it matter when he does? If Phelps scratches the 200 *before* the final, Tarwater is on the team. What’s the difference?

Neptune
4 years 1 month ago

No. That would have meant PVK would have swam the final and could have earned the spot.

aswimfan
4 years 1 month ago

Neptune,

Your premise hinges on a lot of “ifs” and “buts”

Tarwater is in, based on the selection rules.

There’s nothing “cheap” about it.

CraftySquire
4 years 1 month ago

I agree. I would be embarrased to earn a roster spot that way.

Neptune's Daddy
4 years 1 month ago

A “cheap” way to become an Olympian? Really? Even if we overlook the fact that Tarwater owns an American record and is one of the best swimmers in the world, there is no cheap way to make the US team. This is a testament to just how deep the US team is.

Well done, Davis. What a way to end a brilliant career!

Duffy
4 years 1 month ago

What a CHEAP shot to take at one of the most dedicated, conscientious swimmers that ever put on a cap and googles. A swimer who has made numerous National Teams, been a multiple time NCAA Champion, a US National Champion and has always represented the sport in the finest possible way.

And don’t start a comment with “no offence” (sic) and then proceed to offend. I find that offensive!

There is NO CHEAP way on to the US Olympic Team!!! You have to get up on the blocks and SWIM YOUR WAY ON!!!

Neptune
4 years 1 month ago

Meaning I would feel the same way regardless of the swimmer. I am sure Davis is a great guy and hard worker, but I am sure that is the case with the huge majority of people in the meet. Not sure what that has to do with Olympic Team selection.

European
4 years 1 month ago

I wonder will Jason Lezak be swimming the heats of 400free relay in London ,he was 6th at trials but Michael had a secured spot so..?will he?

Jean Michel
4 years 1 month ago

I don’t see Lezak swimming the relay prelims ! No way ! Better put a young fresh Feigen + grevers + Berens and Adrian

Reed
4 years 1 month ago

No way does Adrian swim prelims and Lezak not swim at all. Just look at what they did 4 years ago: Phelps was pencilled in to lead off at night, so they put 3 through 6 on the AM relay and told them they were facing off for 1 spot instead of the customary 2. They all understood, swam their butts off and broke the WR in prelims. That’s what will happen this time, Lezak, Berens, Feigen and Grevers will swim the prelim, and the fastest man makes finals. They’re not going to drag people over to London and then not let them swim anything.

Ole 99
4 years 1 month ago

Adrian won’t swim the prelim. Prelim will be Grevers, Feigen, Lezak and a fourth. Berens may not swim the relay given he is now swimming the 200 Free. I think the evening will be Phelps, Jones, Feigen and Adrian. I’m not sure Grevers is the best pick to swim the evening with the 100 back semifinals two events before the relay.

Neptune
4 years 1 month ago

And Feigen has still been faster than Grevers.

Ole 99
4 years 1 month ago

True, but you really need to see where they are all at during the meet. Also some guys are just great relay swimmers. If Grevers didn’t have the 100 back right before the relay, I’d give him the nod all else being equal. He has been a great relay swimmer throughout his career. Frankly, I’m a little concerned Cullen Jones may have used up all his magic to get on the team.

Neptune
4 years 1 month ago

Great point. Agree on Jones too.

Craig H
4 years 1 month ago

Are you guys still doubting Jones even after all he’s done here? Geez, for some people it’s never enough.

Neptune
4 years 1 month ago

He may have had the best meet out of anyone. Still ok to think that certain people may have trouble repeating performances.

gosharks
4 years 1 month ago

What reason do you have to suggest that Berens would not participate in a relay that he objectively qualified for?

Ole 99
4 years 1 month ago

Berens may want to get as much rest between prelims and semifinals of the 200 Freestyle. The prelims of the 4 x 100 Free Relay are at the end of that session of prelims.

USSwimFan
4 years 1 month ago

Team USA needs all the help we can get in the 4×100. I say, let’s see where Berens is at before you dismiss him on the relay. He earned a spot to compete on 4×100 and it would be foolish to dismiss him from it just because he now has an individual 200 Free. If we want to be anywhere near the Aussies, someone will have to give us another “Lezak” swim…to dismiss Ricky from that opportunity would be wrong.

Rafael
4 years 1 month ago

in 2008 US times were actually faster than french, bousquet split was amazing there… this time a “lezak” won´t do the cut cause the aussies are about 2 seconds faster..

JackedAndTan
4 years 1 month ago

Haha, you guys are crazy speculating whether to not put Lezak on the morning prelims!! Why send him to the Olympics at all then?! You think he’s gonna go to London as a spectator??

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