Michael Phelps settled for third place behind Olympic gold medallist Nathan Adrian’s blazing 48.05sec in the 100m freestyle Saturday to close out the Orlando Pro Swim.
While Adrian dominated the field—winning by a body length and posting the second-fastest time in the world this year behind the 47.57 posted by Australian Cameron McEvoy—Phelps was left mulling what he considered a somewhat disappointing meeting.
“I’m always so hard on myself,” said Phelps, who was disappointed not to break 52 seconds in winning the 100m butterfly on Thursday.
He added a fourth place finish in the 100m backstroke on Friday, before finishing behind Adrian and Italian Luca Dotto (49.33) in the 100m free in 49.57.
While the individual 100m free hasn’t figured in Phelps’s remarkable tally of 18 Olympic gold medals, he’s surely targeting a 4x100m free relay berth at the Rio Games in August.
But the superstar, who owns a record 22 Olympic medals total, said he has work to do before the US Olympic trials in late June and the Games themselves.
“Some of the small things just weren’t there,” he said of his week in Orlando. “My finish in the 100 fly was kind of blah. My finish in the 100 back wasn’t that great. My freestyle is still a little choppy.”
Phelps said the absence of longtime coach Bob Bowman, overseeing the Arizona State University team this week at a regional collegiate championship, was an adjustment.
“I’m looking forward to having the coaches back,” he said, although he added that he continues to enjoy a competitive comeback now that swimming is balanced by new challenges in his personal life. His fiancee Nicole Johnson due to give birth to the couple’s first child, a boy, in May, and they plan to take the infant to Rio.
“With everything I have going on I am a lot more relaxed about what I’m doing here,” he said. “It allows me to have more fun.”
In other events on Saturday, Missy Franklin completed a backstroke double with a victory in the 200m back in 2:08.77. Franklin stormed home to edge Canada’s Dominique Bouchard, who was second in 2:08.90. American Elizabeth Beisel was third in 2:09.75.
Thiago Pereira led a Brazilian one-two in the men’s 200m individual medley.
Pereira clocked 1:59.82 to edge Henrique Rodrigues (1:59.97), with American Conor Dwyer (2:00.03) third.
American Maya DiRado won her third title of the meet with an impressive 200m medley victory in 2:10.77.
Melanie Margalis was second in 2:11.72 and Beisel was third in 2:12.43.
Freestyle phenomenon Katie Ledecky, opting out of the day’s 800m free, crushed her lifetime best in the 200m medley with a time of 2:14.36 that put her fifth.
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