Michael Phelps will compete in his fourth swim meet since coming out of a twenty-month retirement in April. According to psych sheets released for the Georgia Bulldog Slam, to be held July 10th-13th in Athens, Ga., Phelps will race the 100 fly, 100 backstroke and 100 free.
This smaller swim meet will be most swimmers’ final stop before August’s U.S. Championships, a selection meet for the U.S.A. National Team and the Pan Pac Championships in Australia.
Ryan Lochte has entered seven events for his first meet since scratching out of the final day of the Mesa Grand Prix. He was still recovering from a torn MCL and ACL, suffered in a fan run-in last November, at that meet; his performances next week should indicate if his knee is back to full health.
Two of Lochte’s entered events, the 100 free and 100 fly, overlap with Phelps’ schedule.
Phelps and Lochte last face-off was the 100 fly in Mesa, where Phelps came in second to Lochte by two-tenths of a second.
The 100 free will also be one of the weekend’s biggest races, with fellow Olympians Conor Dwyer, Cullen Jones and France’s Yannick Agnel also entered.
Lochte’s full program is the 100 free, 200 free, 400 free, 100 back, 200 back, 100 fly and 200 IM. It’s likely he’ll withdraw from several of these events closer to the meet.
Phelps’ career in photos on his birthday
Australian golfer Marc Leishman will miss the Rio Olympics due to his wife’s health.
“Many of you may know that last April my children and I almost lost my wife, Audrey, to toxic shock syndrome,” Leishman said in a statement. “Since then Audrey has been prone to infection and is far removed from 100 percent recovery of her immune system.
“We have consulted with Audrey’s physician and due to her ongoing recovery from toxic shock and potential risks associated with the transmission of the Zika virus, it was a difficult yet easy decision not to participate.
“I missed playing in the 2015 Masters tournament to be at her side when she was originally stricken and I cannot risk placing her health in jeopardy.
“The Masters and the Olympics are the two biggest tournaments to which a golfer can be invited; however, my family will always come before golf.”
Leishman, 32 with one PGA Tour win, joined the projected Olympic field when countryman Adam Scott said last month that he would skip Rio.
World No. 1 Jason Day is assured one of two Olympic spots for Australian men when the 60-man field is determined based on July 11 world rankings.
With No. 7 Scott and No. 35 Leishman out, the next-best Aussie is No. 63 Marcus Fraser.
Three more major champions — Vijay Singh, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel — also said in April they would not compete in Rio.
Golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.
MORE: Australia Olympic legend blasts Adam Scott
Rory McIlroy believes golf may not remain in the Olympics after 2020 following a string of major champions announcing they will skip the sport’s return at the Rio Games.
“Because of how [Olympic golf is] being approached in golf circles … I’m not sure if we’re going to have another opportunity to win a gold medal after [Tokyo 2020],” McIlroy said ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.
In 2009, the International Olympic Committee voted to re-add golf and rugby to the Olympic program for the 2016 Olympics, with a review in 2017 if they would remain for the 2020 Olympics.
In 2013, Tokyo was elected host city for the 2020 Olympics with a plan that includes golf.
Beyond 2020, golf does not yet have a place in the Olympics. Its chances for the 2024 Olympics could come into focus when that host city is chosen in September 2017.
McIlroy, ranked No. 3 in the world, has repeated he will play for Ireland in the first Olympic golf tournament since 1904 in Rio in August.
Fellow major champions Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh said last month they will not play in the Rio Olympics.
MORE: Golf Channel’s Olympic broadcast schedule