Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte - Day 1

Michael Phelps notches first event win of comeback

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Michael Phelps is a winner for the first time since the London Olympics.

The 22-time Olympic medalist captured the 100m butterfly at the Charlotte Grand Prix in 52.13 seconds Friday night. The competition marked the second meet of his comeback.

He retired after the London Olympics, returned to training last year and finished second in the 100m butterfly at the Mesa Grand Prix on April 24.

Phelps, in a white cap, gray waist-to-knee swim trunks and a full beard, swam the same time Friday he did in the Mesa final three weeks ago. He led by .56 of a second hitting the wall at the 25-meter turn and won by .59 (video here).

“I guess the consistency is there,” Phelps said on Universal Sports. “Still, the walls are very bad.”

He’s the three-time reigning Olympic champion in the 100m butterfly. His world record from 2009 is 49.82.

Phelps is finished swimming in Charlotte and will head to Colorado for high-altitude training, reportedly beginning May 27.

“I know it’s good for me, but it’s not always something I enjoy the most,” Phelps said of Colorado.

His next meet could be the Santa Clara Grand Prix in California from June 19-22. The biggest meets of 2014 are later this summer, the U.S. Championships and the Pan Pacific Championships in August.

In other events Friday, Hungarian Katinka Hosszu won the women’s 200m free in 1:56.30, edging Olympic champion Allison Schmitt by .11 in a meeting of the two top female swimmers entered in the meet. Hosszu, the world champion in the 200m and 400m individual medleys, later won the 400m IM by more than four seconds.

World silver medalist Chase Kalisz took the men’s 400m IM in 4:16.38, more than three seconds better than runner-up Tyler Clary.

World silver medalist Conor Dwyer won the men’s 200m free in 1:47.86. Phelps had qualified for that final earlier Friday but scratched out of it. Olympic champion Yannick Agnel was disqualified after the prelims for false starting.

Jessica Hardy won the 100m breaststroke in 1:06.86, the fifth fastest time in the world of 2014 for the world bronze medalist. Olympian Micah Lawrence was second, .62 behind. Two-time Bulgarian Olympian Mike Alexandrov, who tried to make the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, took the men’s 100m breast in 1:01.48.

Canadian Olympian Katerine Savard won the women’s 100m butterfly in 58.60, .24 over U.S. Olympian Claire Donahue.

Katie Ledecky follows Janet Evans’ college path

Francesco Friedrich wins historic fourth straight bobsled world title

German bob team, Francesco Friedrich, right, and Thorsten Margis, celebrate their victory  after the men's  two-man bob race at the  Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships at Lake Koenigssee, Germany, Sunday Feb. 19. 2017. (Angelika Warmuth/dpa via AP)
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KOENIGSSEE, Germany (AP) — Germany’s Francesco Friedrich was again fastest in both runs to extend his lead and beat Justin Kripps of Canada for his fourth straight world championship in two-man bobsled on Sunday.

Friedrich, who held a 0.52-lead from Saturday’s opening heats, clocked 49.17 seconds and then 48.94 with his brakeman Thorsten Margis for a combined time of 3 minutes, 16.71 seconds after four runs — 1.20 ahead of Kripps and Jesse Lumsden.

The 26-year-old Friedrich says “We were simply unbeatable this week.”

Germany’s Johannes Lochner was 1.25 back in third with Joshua Bluhm, ahead of Oskars Kibermanis and Matiss Miknis of Latvia, Nick Poloniato and Neville Wright of Canada, and Oskars Melbardis and Janis Strenga of Latvia.

American pilot Steven Holcomb was seventh with Carlo Valdes, 1.68 back.

A skeleton and bobsled team competition was scheduled later Sunday.

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Marcel Hirscher reclaims slalom title, wraps up ‘perfect worlds’

ST MORITZ, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 17:  Gold medalist Marcel Hirscher of Austria celebrates on the podium following the Men's Giant Slalom during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on February 17, 2017 in St Moritz, Switzerland.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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Austrian Marcel Hirscher reclaimed the slalom world title, wrapping up what he called “the perfect world championships” with two golds and one silver in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Hirscher, the five-time reigning World Cup overall champion, prevailed by .68 of a second combining two runs. Fellow Austrian Manuel Feller earned silver, followed by German Felix Neureuther, .93 behind.

Hirscher’s biggest slalom rival, Henrik Kristoffersen, was a disappointing fourth, giving Norway fourth-place finishers in all five men’s events at worlds.

The top American was David Chodounsky in 12th.

Full Results | Race Replay

Hirscher led by .43 after the morning run and had the third-fastest second run. He finished worlds with golds in the giant slalom and slalom and silver in the super combined, missing gold by .01. All that despite entering worlds sick, reportedly spending days ill in bed.

He said that super combined silver, and especially his maiden GS title, took the pressure off Sunday.

“It was super easy for me, mentally, to [go] into this race,” Hirscher said. “It doesn’t matter if I straddle at the first gate. The only thing that wouldn’t be fine is skiing slow.”

Hirscher is en route to his sixth straight World Cup overall title this season. No other man has won that many, consecutive or not. He previously won the slalom world title in 2013, then was upset at the Sochi Olympics, taking silver behind countryman Mario Matt, who at 34 became the oldest Olympic Alpine champion.

Hirscher led the 2015 Worlds slalom by .88 after the first run, then straddled a gate near the end of the second run while his lead was evaporating.

Hirscher has already proven his excellence on the World Cup and world championships stages. It’s PyeongChang where he must deliver, since he lacks Olympic gold. Hirscher is only 27 years old, but he has cast doubt on going all the way to the 2022 Winter Games.

Feller, 24, took surprise silver without a World Cup podium to his name.

Neureuther earned his third straight world slalom medal, but none have been gold.

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