Michael Phelps self-assessment: ‘horrendous,’ ‘garbage’ after winless Charlotte meet


Michael Phelps finished first or second in zero events at a meet, believed to be for the first time since the Sydney 2000 Olympics, at a Pro Swim Series stop in Charlotte over the weekend.

The 22-time Olympic medalist finished third, seventh, ninth, ninth and 11th in five events spanning three days (full results here).

“After seeing the performance of some of the people that we’ve seen this weekend, I think it’s probably a good thing that I’m not going to Worlds,” Phelps told media in Charlotte, referencing the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in August, which he is ineligible for due to his punishment following a September DUI arrest. “I have work to do.”

Phelps said he was frustrated, that he felt like his legs weren’t connected to his upper body, his dolphin kicks were “horrendous,” his freestyle stroke was “pretty garbage” and that he had to reassess “a bunch of stuff.”

Phelps said he planned on swimming in the next Pro Swim Series meet in Santa Clara, Calif., from June 18-21 and then spend three weeks training at altitude in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“There’s some time, but not much,” said Phelps, who said for the first time in April that he harbored ambitions of making a fifth Olympic team in 2016. “Whatever it is I have to figure out, I have to figure out now.”

On Sunday, Phelps failed to reach the top eight-man finals in both of his events — the 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley. In 2014, Phelps returned from a 20-month competitive retirement to be the only U.S. man to post a world-leading time in an Olympic event (100m butterfly).

This year, Phelps is the third-fastest American in the 200m freestyle, fourth in the 100m fly and fifth in the 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

“What I want most is to be racing the competition I need to be racing,” Phelps said. “Not taking away anything from the B heat [consolation finals Phelps raced in Sunday], but I want to race Ryan [Lochte] and those guys.”

Lochte won the 200m individual medley in 1:57.20, ranking third in the world this year.

Olympic champion Nathan Adrian won the 100m freestyle in 48.85 seconds, the fastest by an American this year and 25th-fastest in the world. (U.S. swimmers are generally lower ranked at this point due in part because other nations have held World Championships trials, requiring their swimmers to taper and peak already. Top U.S. swimmers, such as Phelps, may look at these spring meets as training.)

“It’s a good starting spot,” Adrian told media in Charlotte. “I came here trying to shake a little rust loose. … I consider this the first meet of the championship season.”

Hungarian FINA women’s Swimmer of the Year Katinka Hosszu completed a Phelps-in-his-prime-like feat, winning six events over three days in Charlotte.

On Sunday, Hosszu clocked the fastest-ever 200m IM in a U.S. pool (2:08.66, fastest in the world this year) and a personal-best 200m backstroke (2:07.79, No. 3 in the world this year) in a span of about 20 minutes.

Natalie Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist, won the 100m free in 54.24 against a field that did not include the fastest Americans from 2014, Simone Manuel and Missy Franklin. Coughlin, 32, swam a 54.18 in a 100m free at the Pro Swim Series meet in Mesa, Ariz., last month and is the fastest American in the event this year.

Flashback: Michael Phelps at the Sydney 2000 Olympics

Isabeau Levito, 15, delivers in figure skating nationals short program as favorite

Isabeau Levito

Isabeau Levito, the 15-year-old favorite, delivered in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships short program, taking the lead into Friday’s free skate.

Levito, third in her senior nationals debut last year, tallied 73.78 points in a clean short on Thursday in San Jose, California.

She edged the comebacking two-time U.S. champion Bradie Tennell by two hundredths of a point. Starr Andrews was third, one hundredth ahead of Amber Glenn and 1.53 points ahead of Gracie Gold, looking to make her first world championships.

A committee selects the three-woman team for worlds shortly after the free skate.

“I was kind of aiming for this placement,” Levito said on USA Network.

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Full Scores | Broadcast Schedule

Levito, a New Jersey native who started skating at 3 and a half and has been with the same coach since age 4, developed a steely reputation as a competitor. That mixes with her artistic comparisons to 2006 Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen and her inspiration, Johnny Weir. She hasn’t missed a podium at a competition she has completed at any level since November 2016.

It’s seemed like Levito has been destined to be the leading U.S. woman in the 2026 Olympic cycle, leading up to the Winter Games in her mom’s hometown of Milan. She was too young for last year’s Olympics, but would have just missed the team had she been age-eligible.

None of the three 2022 U.S. Olympians are competing this season — Alysa Liu and Mariah Bell retired; Karen Chen is studying at Cornell — paving the way for Levito to ascend.

That she did, winning April’s junior worlds to become the first U.S. woman to win a global title — junior or senior — since 2008.

Then this past fall, Levito placed second in her first two senior Grand Prix starts, then placed a surprising second at December’s Grand Prix Final, which gathered the world’s top six women from across the series.

Granted, the Final was her lowest point total of her five international events this season. All six skaters had multiple jumping errors in the free skate.

Levito ranks fifth in the world by best total score this season, fourth among seniors and a whopping 18.13 points better than the No. 2 American. Note the absence of Russia, which has dominated women’s skating for the last decade.

Levito won’t be worrying about her international standing while sitting on an overnight lead. She has work left in Friday’s free skate to win what could be the first in a series of national titles.

Tennell, 24, had her best short program since coming back from a 19-month competition break due to foot and ankle injuries. She was unable to defend her national title last year, ruling her out of Olympic contention.

Andrews, 21, is coming a fall Grand Prix Series where she became the first Black U.S. skater to win a medal on the circuit.

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2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships scores, results

2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Full scores and results from the 2023 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in San Jose …

Women’s Short Program
1. Isabeau Levito — 73.78
2. Bradie Tennell — 73.76
3. Starr Andrews — 68.97
4. Amber Glenn — 68.96
5. Gracie Gold — 67.44
6. Lindsay Thorngren — 62.64
7. Clare Seo — 61.48
8. Ava Ziegler — 61.09
9. Audrey Shin — 60.76
10. Ting Cui — 57.11
11. Josephine Lee — 55.60
12. Lindsay Wang — 52.19
13. Sonja Hilmer — 51.16
14. Michelle Lee — 46.71
15. Gabriella Izzo — 45.73
16. Alexa Gasparotto — 45.00
17. Elsa Cheng — 44.36
18. Hanna Harrell — 42.84

Pairs Short Program
1. Alexa Knierim/Brandon Frazier — 81.96
2. Emily Chan/Spencer Howe — 66.86
3. Ellie Kam/Danny O’Shea —- 65.75
4. Valentina Plazas/Maximiliano Fernandez — 63.45
5. Sonia Baram/Danil Tioumentsev —- 63.12
6. Katie McBeath/Nathan Bartholomay —- 56.96
7. Nica Digerness/Mark Sadusky — 50.72
8. Maria Mokhova/Ivan Mokhov —- 46.96
9. Grace Hanns / Danny Neudecker — 46.81
10. Linzy Fitzpatrick/Keyton Bearinger — 45.27
11. Nina Ouellette/Rique Newby-Estrella — 43.99

Rhythm Dance
1. Madison Chock/Evan Bates — 91.90
2. Caroline Green/Michael Parsons — 81.40
3. Emilea Zingas/Vadym Kolesnik — 78.18
4. Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko — 77.37
5. Lorraine McNamara/Anton Spiridonov — 76.23
6. Emily Bratti/Ian Somerville — 75.91
7. Eva Pate/Logan Bye — 75.52
8. Isabella Flores/Ivan Desyatov — 73.91
9. Oona Brown/Gage Brown — 72.80
10. Katarina Wolfkostin/Jeffrey Chen — 69.05
11. Angela Ling/Caleb Wein — 68.53
12. Leah Krauskopf/YuanShi Jin — 52.59
13. Cara Murphy/Joshua Levitt — 50.88
14. Caroline Depietri/TJ Carey — 48.28
WD. Raffaella Koncius/Alexey Shchepetov

FIGURE SKATING NATIONALS: Broadcast Schedule | New Era for U.S.

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