Just like this morning,Phelps split a very consistent race as to what we usually see from him in the 200m IM, earning himself the bronze medal behind teammates Conor Dwyer and Chase Kalisz.
Phelps took the early lead right off the start posting a 25.33 fly split to get him to the wall first. He extended his lead on the backstroke leg touching first in 55.50. Coming off that wall he kept it fairly consistent with Dwyer, Dwyer creeping up on him just a bit as Phelps touched the 150m wall in 1:30.64 followed by Dwyer just 0.25 seconds behind him.
That last 50 seemed to make all the difference as Dwyer surged to the victory in 1:59.49 followed by Kalisz in 1:59.43 and Phelps in 1:59.76 rounding out a 1-2-3 finish for NBAC.
Phelps’ splits tonight: 25.33, 30.17, 35.14, 29.12
His splits tonight were fairly similar to this morning’s except for one glaring difference: the breaststroke leg. Phelps was fairly equal to his fly split this morning, about eight-tenths of a second faster on the backstroke, seven-tenths slower on the breaststroke, and eight-tenths faster on the freestyle.
Phelps went to the legs a little more during his backstroke leg tonight which could explain the difference in his breaststroke split, but overall it was a similar race to what we usually see from Phelps when he’s having a good mid-season swim. In the 200m IM, a good mid-season swim for Phelps means that the front half of his swim takes up roughly 46% of his race. Tonight his 55.50 first 100 took up exactly 46.34%.
Clearly Phelps wasn’t happy with the time as was evident by his face at the end of the race. The biggest issue he’s been having in his 200s lately has been holding on during the last 50. Earlier in the 200m freestyle Phelps fell during the last 50 to teammate Yannick Agnel, identical to what happened tonight with Dwyer and Kalisz in the IM.
Phelps loves to take out a race hard and dare his competitors to catch up, but he’s always been one to come home strong in a race, especially when being pressured by other swimmers. The last 50 isn’t a huge problem considering that it’s just his third meet back since the 2012 Olympics.
Phelps might not be happy with the times, but he’s been able to follow his race strategies from earlier in his career very well lately, which should give him some confidence heading into nationals this summer.