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.
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