Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps’ comeback at Mesa Grand Prix competition, broadcast schedules

Leave a comment

Michael Phelps is entered in three events at his first competition since the 2012 Olympics with his first swims Thursday at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz.

Phelps is slated for 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly heats on Thursday afternoon (ET), though he’s expected to swim only one of them in the night finals session, according to the Arizona Republic. The complete heat sheets are here.

UPDATE: Phelps scratched out of the 100m freestyle, he said Wednesday.

Phelps is also scheduled for the 50m freestyle on Friday but may swim the butterfly stroke, according to the report. If he swims butterfly, Phelps may not be fast enough to qualify for the finals Friday night.

Live streams of nightly finals sessions will be on USA Swimming’s website. Universal Sports will interrupt programming to show Phelps’ swims Thursday and have coverage on Friday and Saturday at 8 ET.

Here’s the unofficial daily schedule of potential Phelps events (all times Eastern):

Thursday prelims — 100m butterfly heats, 2:42-3:09 p.m.
Thursday finals — 100m butterfly, session begins at 8 p.m.
Friday prelims — 50m freestyle, 3:20-3:31 p.m.
Friday finals — 50m freestyle, session begins at 8 p.m.

Apolo Ohno plans to do Ironman World Championships

Teddy Riner, dominant judoka, to skip 2018, 2019 Worlds

Getty Images
Leave a comment

French judoka Teddy Riner, arguably the world’s most dominant athlete, will reportedly skip the next two world championships before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

French coach Franck Chambily said Riner will compete a light international schedule the next two years ahead of what would be his fourth Olympics, according to Agence France-Presse.

Riner, a 29-year-old, 6-foot-8-inch native of Guadeloupe, is undefeated since 2010 with a reported 144-match winning streak. That includes Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Before the streak, Riner also earned world titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, plus an Olympic bronze at age 19 in 2008.

He could compete through the 2024 Paris Games.

“When I am invincible, I will stop,” Riner said in 2013, according to The Associated Press.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Maggie Nichols wins NCAA all-around title with perfect 10

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Even after a perfect 10 in the last rotation, Maggie Nichols didn’t know that she had won the NCAA all-around title. Her coach at Oklahoma, K.J. Kindler, had to tell her.

The reaction?

“Excitement,” Nichols said Friday night on ESPNU. “I just wanted to go out there and feel out the equipment, staying calm and doing my routines that I have been doing in training.”

Nichols, a 2015 World team champion who retired from elite gymnastics after missing the 2016 Olympic team (set back by a torn meniscus that year), became the first Sooner to win the NCAA all-around in 30 years.

The sophomore tallied 39.8125 points and topped Olympic alternate MyKayla Skinner of Utah by .0875 for the title in St. Louis. It came one year after Nichols was 29th in the all-around with a balance beam fall.

Oklahoma and Utah will be joined in Saturday night’s Super Six team finals by UCLA, LSU, Florida and Nebraska. The Sooners eye their third straight national title.

Nichols capped her night with one of two perfect scores between the two semifinal sessions, matching 2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price‘s 10 on uneven bars. It gave Nichols a second career gym slam, a perfect score on every apparatus for the season.

On Jan. 9, Nichols came forward as “Athlete A,” who first reported to USA Gymnastics that she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar in summer 2015.

“She has had a really unique year probably like no one else, and her strength showed through,” Kindler said Friday, according to the University of Oklahoma. “It was tough, and to come out on this side this year is really special.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Nastia Liukin among gymnastics Hall of Fame inductees