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

Blake Griffin will miss Olympics, report says

Blake Griffin
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For the second straight Olympics, Blake Griffin will not be able to join Team USA due to injury, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Clippers power forward will be out several months due to his left quad injury, according to the newspaper.

Griffin was originally chosen for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team but withdrew due to a torn meniscus, opening a spot for Anthony Davis.

Davis is also expected to miss the Rio Games due to injury.

Other power forwards on the U.S. finalist list released in January include LaMarcus Aldridge, Kenneth Faried, Draymond Green and Kevin Love.

Rio Olympic cauldron likely to be located near Plaza Maua

Candelaria Church
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Mayor Eduardo Paes says he wants the Olympic cauldron to burn in Rio de Janeiro’s revitalized port area.

The cauldron will be lit at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, and will spend the night there before traveling to a permanent home.

Mario Andrada, spokesman for the Rio organizing committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the cauldron will be placed in the port area, but not in the heart of the renovated port area known as Plaza Maua.

“It will be close to Plaza Maua, but not exactly in Plaza Maua,” Andrada said. He said it was likely to be located near the Candelaria Church, which is near the plaza.

“Don’t get me into a fight with the mayor,” Andrada added.

Paes said he hoped the new plaza would be a center for outdoor entertainment during the Games, including performance stages, musical attractions, and large-screen televisions.

“It seems that the Maracana Stadium has limitations,” Paes said, adding that moving out of the Maracana “is good because it democratizes the access to the cauldron.”

The new plaza and downtown Rio are far from the heart of the Games in suburban Barra da Tijuca. It is also an area not usually visited by tourists.

The Olympic flame arrives from Greece and Switzerland on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia, to be carried off the plane by IOC member Carlos Nuzman, the head of the Rio organizing committee.

The flame then goes to the Planalto presidential palace where it is expected to be greeted by President Dilma Rousseff.

Andrada said IOC President Thomas Bach and other top IOC officials would not be at the ceremony.

Rousseff is facing impeachment charges and could be suspended from office as early as May 11, turning over authority to Vice President Michel Temer.

Temer, himself, could also face impeachment proceedings and has a scandal-tainted career.

PHOTOS: Olympic flame visits Acropolis, 1896 Olympic Stadium