OLY-2016-BRAZIL-US-PHELPS

Michael Phelps repeats he has no comeback plans

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Michael Phelps says he’s still retired, despite recent reports insinuating a comeback before the Rio Olympics and more definite comments from Ryan Lochte.

Phelps, the 22-time Olympic medalist who turned 28 on Sunday, told the Baltimore Sun he hasn’t thought about unretiring.

His comments to the newspaper were more concrete than his previous statements at a California speaker series event and in an interview with a German outlet.

Panda Express helps boy realize Make A Wish to meet Phelps

“Man, people will believe anything that’s written, anything that’s on TV,” Phelps said. “There’s nothing in the works with me coming back to swimming. This is a part of my life I’m enjoying. I’ve never had freedom like this. I live on my own time. I play golf three or four times a week. I wake up whenever I want. I have a few things to do here and there, but mostly my time is mine. I’m not thinking about changing that.”

At last week’s swimming nationals, Lochte reiterated his stance that Phelps will return and make a bid for a fifth Olympic Games in 2016.

“I think we all know by now that he’s coming back,” Lochte told USA Today. “I don’t think it’s really a surprise. It’s just a matter of when is he going to get back in the full swing of training.”

Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, had a different view.

“As far as the comeback, I think I’ll be the first to know, and I don’t know anything,” he told USA Today.

Phelps has two years left before he would have to re-enter the drug-testing pool for a Rio comeback, but at this point, his comments to the Baltimore Sun make that nothing more than a dream.

“Honestly, I haven’t thought about it,” he said. “I want to help grow the sport, and there are other ways to do it. My life, the way it is now, is great.”

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross beat top-ranked Brazilians for first time

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross
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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross beat Brazil’s best beach volleyball team for the first time and extended the longest winning streak of their partnership in winning the Moscow Grand Slam on Sunday.

“That just shows our growth,” Ross said. “We’re still on the up and up.”

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, an Olympic silver medalist, beat Olympic qualifying top seed Larissa and Talita 22-20, 22-20 in the final for their third straight international title.

Walsh Jennings and Ross have now won 22 straight FIVB World Tour matches, the best run of their three-year parternship. Walsh Jennings last reached a streak this long from 2007 to 2010, when she won 78 straight international matches with Misty May-Treanor and Nicole Branagh, according to BVBInfo.com

The Americans had lost all three of their previous matches (one a one-set exhibition) versus Larissa and Talita:

Feb. 27, 2015 — 26-24 in Rio de Janeiro
Aug. 23, 2015 — 21-18, 21-16 in Long Beach, Calif.
March 20, 2016 — 22-20, 21-19 in Vitoria, Brazil

Larissa and Talita, seeking to become Brazil’s first Olympic women’s beach volleyball champions in 20 years, have won 12 of their 20 international tournaments since pairing in July 2014.

The FIVB World Tour continues in Hamburg, Germany, next week, the final event in Olympic qualifying. Walsh Jennings and Ross are expected to play there.

Walsh Jennings and Ross and Larissa and Talita are already qualified for the Rio Games.

MORE: Logan Tom continues volleyball career in Indonesia

Joe Kovacs goes wild after winning Pre Classic shot put (video)

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Joe Kovacs put together an incredible series of throws to win the Pre Classic shot put on Friday night, and he topped it off with perhaps an even more impressive celebration.

The World champion Kovacs, who is listed at 6 feet and 276 pounds, let out bellowing roars and a “Hell yeah!” after his final throw of 22.13 meters.

Kovacs threw farther with every throw in Eugene, Ore., on Friday night:

20.41
20.49
21.26
21.57 (farthest in the world this year)
21.66 (farthest in the world this year)
22.13 (farthest in the world this year)

Kovacs has come a long way in four years. He finished fourth at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials with a then-personal-best throw of 21.08 meters. His last throw Friday night would have won the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

MORE: Kovacs emerges from family tragedy, Olympic miss to world leader