Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky top loaded Austin swim meet field

Natalie Coughlin, Michael Phelps
Getty Images
0 Comments

Michael Phelps is expected to lead a gathering of the most decorated active swimmers at a Pro Swim Series meet in Austin, Texas, next week, streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.

The meet runs from Jan. 15-17, with finals at 7 ET each night. USASwimming.org will live stream all sessions, while Live Extra will live stream the Jan. 16-17 finals.

Phelps, a 22-time Olympic medalist, is slated to be joined by nine-time World champion Katie Ledecky, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte and five-time 2012 Olympic medalist Missy Franklin.

It’s the first time that quintet will compete in the same meet since the August 2014 U.S. Championships.

Phelps, Ledecky, Lochte and Franklin all competed at the last Pro Swim Series meet in Minneapolis in November. Phelps and Franklin then took part in the Winter Nationals in December, while Lochte and Franklin helped the U.S. to a Duel in the Pool victory one week later.

U.S. swimmers are gearing up for the Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb., in June and July, when the top two finishers per individual event will make the Olympic team.

Last year, Phelps came back from a DUI arrest and suspension to post the world’s fastest times in the 100m and 200m butterfly and 200m individual medley.

Ledecky was the star of the World Championships in August, bagging a meet-topping five gold medals.

Franklin, coming off two years of NCAA competition and returning from an August 2014 back injury, also earned five Worlds medals, including a silver and a bronze in individual events.

Lochte captured his fourth straight World title in the 200m individual medley using a turn off the last wall that has since been outlawed by FINA.

Coughlin did not qualify for the World Championships team but nonetheless resurged, ranking No. 1 in the U.S. in the 100m backstroke and No. 3 in the 100m freestyle.

Times in Austin aren’t expected to be particularly fast as swimmers train to peak in the summer.

The Pro Swim Series continues after Austin with a meet in Orlando from March 3-5.

MORE SWIMMING: Phelps eyes coaching in retirement

Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
Getty
0 Comments

Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
Getty
0 Comments

British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!