Olympic great Michael Phelps suffered the first big setback of his return to competition Wednesday as a poor turn left him seventh in the 100m free at the US Swimming Championships.
In a finals field loaded with Olympic medallists, the 18-time Games champion made a mess of his turn at the 50m wall, and had no chance to challenge coming home in the race won by 2012 Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian.
“When I literally took a couple kicks and I barely passed the flags, I knew there was very little chance that I was going to run anybody down,” said Phelps.
“It just kind of stinks that I missed the first wall.”
Phelps ended a near two-year retirement in April, and the US championships are just his fourth meet since then and his first chance to qualify to represent the US at an international event — the Pan Pacific Championships August 21-25 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2014.
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