Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps in 4 events on Santa Clara Grand Prix psych sheets

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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.

USOC chooses 4 finalists for possible 2024 Olympic bid

World short-track speedskating championships will be moved, postponed or canceled

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The International Skating Union announced Tuesday that the world short-track speedskating championships will not proceed as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Seoul’s Mokdong Ice Rink, where the competition was set to be held March 13-15, held the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships earlier this month but closed on Monday.

The ISU left open the possibility that the championships will be postponed or relocated, but the window to do so may close rapidly.

“Taking into account the uncertain world-wide development of the coronavirus, the limited and uncertain available time slots during the coming weeks and the logistical challenges of potential organizers and participating teams, a postponement and/or relocation of the Championships would be difficult to achieve,” the ISU said. “Nevertheless, a postponement and/or relocation of this Championships might be considered if the circumstances would allow so in due time.”

South Korea is one of short-track speedskating’s traditional powers. Last year, the country dominated the world championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, winning both relays and taking gold in all of the men’s individual races. South Korea also led the medal count on home ice in the 2018 Olympics.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the cancellation of many events in China, where the illness was first found. The world indoor track and field championships were pushed back a whole year.

With the virus spreading to other regions, other countries’ sports schedules are being affected. Several soccer games are proceeding in empty stadiums in Italy and Iran.

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Daniel Romanchuk’s ascent to marathon stardom accelerated at University of Illinois

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The rise of Daniel Romanchuk has been one of the major stories of this Paralympic cycle. The wheelchair racer was eliminated in the first round of all five of his races in Rio.

But now, he’s the world’s best marathoner with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, a world-record holder on the track and already qualified for the Tokyo Games.

Romanchuk, born with spina bifida, was profiled by NBC Sports Chicago as part of a series of NBC Sports Regional Networks pieces published this week — marking 150 days until the Tokyo Olympics and six months until the Tokyo Paralympics.

NBC RSN Olympic and Paralympic Profiles
NBC Sports Bay Area

Abbey Weitzeil (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Boston
Margaret Bertasi (Rowing) — LINK
Abbey D’Agostino Cooper (Track and Field) — LINK

NBC Sports Chicago
Ryan Murphy (Swimming) — LINK

NBC Sports Northwest
Galen Rupp (Marathon) — LINK
Mariel Zagunis (Fencing) — LINK

NBC Sports Philadelphia
Vashti Cunningham (Track and Field) — LINK
Julie Ertz (Soccer) — LINK

NBC Sports Washington
Katie Ledecky (Swimming) — LINK
Kyle Snyder (Wrestling) — LINK

Romanchuk, 21, swept the Boston, London, Chicago and New York City Marathon titles in 2019. He attributes that success to his native Baltimore and his training residence of the University of Illinois.

At age 2, he was enrolled in Baltimore’s Bennett Blazers, an adaptive sports program for children with physical disabilities. Tatyana McFadden, a 17-time Paralympic medalist who dominated women’s wheelchair marathons, planted her athletic roots there.

“Their motto is to teach kids they can before they’re told they can’t,” Romanchuk said.

Things really blossomed for Romanchuk after he moved from Baltimore to the University of Illinois. Illinois was designated a U.S. Paralympic training site in 2014 and has produced McFadden, Jean Driscoll and other U.S. Paralympic stars.

“Without this program, I certainly would not be where I am,” Romanchuk said. “It’s a very unique combination of coaching and teammates.”

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MORE: Ten Paralympic hopefuls to watch for 2020 Tokyo Games