The third meet of Michael Phelps‘ comeback could be his busiest yet.
The 22-time Olympic medalist is listed in four events on psych sheets for next week’s Santa Clara Grand Prix — the 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley.
Consider psych sheets entry lists. Phelps could still pull out of any of the events, but if he sticks with all four he will swim more than his two other meets this spring combined, his first competitions since the London Olympics.
Phelps swam the 100m butterfly at both the Mesa Grand Prix in April and Charlotte Grand Prix in May, finishing second and first, respectively. He also swam the 200m freestyle in Charlotte, but scratched out of the finals.
In Santa Clara, he has the possibility of competing in the 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley for the first time since he came out of retirement.
Phelps was a part of U.S. Olympic 4x100m freestyle relays in 2004, 2008 and 2012 but has only raced the individual 100m free once at the Olympics or World Championships (seventh at 2005 Worlds). Phelps won the last three Olympic 200m individual medley titles.
The 100m freestyle is a strong event for the U.S., with reigning Olympic champion Nathan Adrian and World silver medalist Jimmy Feigen. Remember, only two men make Olympic and World Championships teams per individual event (though usually the top six make the 4x100m relay pool).
If Phelps continues to swim the 200m individual medley at the summer’s two biggest meets, the U.S. Championships and Pan Pacific Championships in August, he could continue his long rivalry with Ryan Lochte in the event. Phelps and Lochte shared the Olympic 200m IM podium at the last three Games. Lochte is the reigning World champion.
However, Lochte is not entered in Santa Clara and his status going forward is unknown. He withdrew from the Charlotte Grand Prix after aggravating a knee injury initially suffered in November. Lochte wore a knee brace in Charlotte but was seen in Las Vegas without the brace last weekend.
Missy Franklin is the star women’s swimmer in Santa Clara, in six events on the psych sheets. The six include her regulars — the 100m and 200m backstrokes and 100m and 200m freestyles — and the 200m IM and 100m butterfly.
Franklin, who became the first woman to win six gold medals at a single World Championships last year, has never competed in an IM or butterfly at an Olympics, Worlds or Pan Pacific Championships.
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