Refreshed Michael Phelps remembers frustration in return to Austin

Michael Phelps
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The new, open, revitalized Michael Phelps felt a little frustrated warming up at the University of Texas pool on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s Pro Swim Series meet in Austin.

“I remember those feelings that I had last year,” Phelps said.

In January 2015, Phelps was on the pool deck in Austin. But he wasn’t part of any races.

The 22-time Olympic medalist was in the middle of a six-month suspension following his Sept. 30, 2014, DUI arrest. He had spent 45 days in an Arizona treatment facility the previous fall and was one month removed from pleading guilty to drunken driving in a Baltimore court.

So why did he travel to Austin when he wasn’t allowed to compete?

“So I could, train, really, be back in the meet environment,” Phelps told media in Austin on Thursday, before looking to his right at longtime coach Bob Bowman. “I don’t know if he [Bowman] had some other little secret.”

“Apparently is was motivational on some levels,” Bowman said, turning to Phelps and eliciting laughs at a news conference.

“I don’t think I needed much more motivation,” Phelps replied.

The picture of the suspended Phelps standing on the Austin deck last year and watching the 200m freestyle, standing right behind U.S. national team director Frank Busch, hasn’t left the swimmer.

Phelps knew then that he wouldn’t be joining Busch and his teammates at the World Championships at the end of the season, either.

“Didn’t really know what to expect at the end of the year after seeing where we were at that point,” Phelps said Thursday. “It frustrated me not being able to be there and knowing that I wasn’t going to be there at the end of the year to help out as much as I could.”

This week, Phelps returned to Austin, where he broke his first world record in 2001, as arguably the best swimmer in the world.

In August, Phelps clocked the fastest times since 2009 in the 100m and 200m butterfly and the best of the year in the 200m individual medley.

He’s entered in those three events plus the 100m and 200m freestyles in the Austin meet from Friday through Sunday.

Finals are at 7 ET each night. will live stream all sessions, while NBC Sports Live Extra will live stream Saturday and Sunday’s finals.

Phelps is expected to swim the 100m and 200m butterfly and the 200m IM at the Olympic trials in June and July and perhaps also the 100m and 200m freestyles, at the very least to prove he belongs on the Olympic 4x100m and 4x200m free relays. That would give him six events at the Rio 2016 Olympics, including the 4x100m medley relay.

Bowman said Phelps has the potential at his final meet in Rio to break his 100m and 200m butterfly world records from 2009 and approach Ryan Lochte‘s 200m IM world record, according to The Associated Press.

Austin comes first.

“I’m a hell of a lot happier being here and being able to swim,” said Phelps, who shares the spotlight with the rest of U.S. swimming’s Big Four — Katie LedeckyMissy Franklin and Lochte — this weekend. “Last year I came here and was swimming in the diving well and swimming in the competition pool in between sessions, and standing and watching swimming when I want to be in isn’t fun.”

MORE SWIMMING: Phelps to coach in retirement

Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup

The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final