In post-race conversations with media on Friday night, Michael Phelps said he has no plans to swim the 400 IM in his comeback (no surprise) or the 200 fly (a little bit of a surprise).
While Phelps did commit to swim a “full schedule” at the Santa Clara Grand Prix in June, he wouldn’t give details on what exactly those events would be. That is, except for two events he is not going to swim.
“I just don’t want to swim 200 butterfly. I just don’t want to do it,” Phelps said of an event in which he’s the World Record holder and a two-time Olympic champion.
While there wasn’t a unanimous opinion from the swimming community as to whether or not Phelps would swim the 200 fly, there were certainly plenty who thought he would come back to this event. His 200 fly career ended on a silver medal as the young South African Chad le Clos upset Phelps’ attempt at a third-straight win.
Other comments that give clues as to where Phelps’ head might be:
- In the 100 free, he hesitated, and said, “I don’t know yet. We’ll see. I’m taking it one meet at a time, one race at a time.”
- His roommate Conor Dwyer said “We’d love to have Phelps on the 4×200 free relay, especially at Worlds, and I know he’d like to swim it individually.”
It sounds as though the 200 free is in play, despite neither he or his coach being thrilled about his prelims swim.
Phelps did say on Friday evening that he thought he was faster in prelims of the 200 free because he was going out with Yannick Agnel. Phelps said that he was convinced that he was sub-1:50 in prelims, but that despite the slow swim he was happy with his underwaters.
A full video of Phelps’ and Dwyers’ comments will be available shortly.