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Michael Phelps unhappy after Orlando debut without Bob Bowman


Michael Phelps is without Bob Bowman at his side at a meet for the first time in many years, but the longtime coach is still watching and critiquing from afar.

Phelps said he texted Bowman “with some frustration” after winning the 100m butterfly in an unsatisfactory time at a Pro Swim Series meet in Orlando on Thursday night.

Bowman is across the country in Federal Way, Wash., coaching the Arizona State men’s team at the Pac-12 Championships. Phelps guessed it’s the first time he’s been at a meet without Bowman since 2007.

On Thursday, Phelps clocked 52.28 seconds in the 100m fly, .07 ahead of countryman Tom Shields. Phelps has been No. 1 and Shields has been No. 2 among Americans in the event in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Phelps, the three-time reigning Olympic 100m butterfly champion, hoped to break 52 seconds. He clocked 51.94 at his last meet in Austin, Texas, in January.

Bowman replied to Phelps’ unhappy text as soon as he climbed out of the pool.

“His response was, the swimming is fine,” Phelps told media in Orlando. “It’s just the small things you need to pay attention to a little bit more. He’s 100 percent right. Some of the butterfly sets that I’ve done [in training] over the last four to five weeks have been really good.”

Phelps said Bowman also communicated with him after the morning preliminaries, saying his 22-time Olympic medalist pupil wasn’t carrying his head correctly in the water.

“I was kind of out of it this morning,” said Phelps, who moved from Baltimore to Arizona to join Bowman in Tempe last year. “I’ve never come west to east for a meet before. So it’s kind of weird. … I hate going 52 [seconds in the 100m butterfly]. I spent a whole year doing it last year [until clocking a world-leading 50.45 at the U.S. Championships on Aug. 8]. It’s just frustrating. … If I would have been under 52, I would have been pumped.

“This race will stick with me until I have another chance to swim it again.”

In other events Thursday, Katie Ledecky captured the 200m freestyle in 1:55.73, distancing 2013 World champion Missy Franklin (1:57.67) and 2012 Olympic champion Allison Schmitt (1:58.18).

The top two at the U.S. Olympic trials on June 29 will make the Olympic team in the event.

“I’ve had some of the best weeks of training I’ve ever had these last couple of weeks,” said Ledecky, who in Austin in January clocked the fastest 200m free time in the world this year, a 1:54.43.

Later, Ledecky finished fourth in the 400m individual medley, 4.13 seconds behind World silver medalist Maya DiRado. Ledecky is not expected to try to qualify for the Olympic team in the 400m IM.

“I always want to get my hand on the wall first, but I know in a race like that, it’s not one of my better races,” Ledecky said. “It’s a tougher task, but I was happy with how my 400m IM went. It’s just good to get out of my comfort zone.”

Full Thursday results are here.

NBC Sports Live Extra will stream the finals of the last two nights in Orlando live on Friday and Saturday at 6 ET.

MORE: Missy Franklin fueled by frustration heading into Orlando

Coronavirus forces Olympic soccer and boxing qualifiers to move

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Olympic qualifying events in two sports were moved from the Chinese city of Wuhan on Wednesday because of an outbreak of a deadly viral illness.

A four-nation Asian qualifying group for the women’s soccer tournament was switched from the city at the center of the health scare to Nanjing.

The Asia-Oceania boxing qualifying tournament scheduled for Feb. 3-14 in Wuhan was cancelled. No new plans were announced.

The decisions followed Chinese health authorities telling people in Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings.

The Asian Football Confederation said the round-robin group — featuring host China, Australia, Taiwan and Thailand — will be played on Feb. 3-9, retaining the same dates, in Nanjing.

More than 500 people have been infected and at least 17 killed since the outbreak emerged last month. The illness comes from a newly identified type of coronavirus.

Cases have also been reported in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. All involve people from Wuhan or who recently traveled there.

In the soccer qualifiers in China, two teams advance to a four-nation playoff round in March. That will decide which two teams from Asia join host Japan at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Russia trounces U.S. boys’ hockey team to wrap up Youth Olympic Games

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Russia routed the U.S. 4-0 in the boys’ hockey gold medal game Wednesday, the final day of the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The U.S. had more penalties (three) than shots (two) in the first period. Russia’s Matvei Michkov converted the first power play and added an even-strength goal later in the period. Another power-play goal in the second period ran the score to 3-0.

Michkov just turned 15 and is projected as a top pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

The gold medal was Russia’s ninth of the Games, excluding events that featured mixed-nationality teams, and 27th overall medal. Both numbers were the best of the competition.

Switzerland finished second in the medal tally with nine golds and 22 total. Japan, the surprise winner in girls’ hockey, matched Switzerland with nine golds among its 17 medals.

The U.S. had two gold medals and 11 total. Kiernan Fagan took gold in the boys’ ski slopestyle and silver in ski big air. Dusty Henricksen won the boys’ snowboard slopestyle.

Fagan, who turned 18 during the Games, already has a couple of World Cup podiums and finished 12th in slopestyle in last year’s world championships. He also took silver in big air and slopestyle in last year’s world junior championships.

Henricksen, who’ll turn 17 next month, placed 17th in the World Cup big air event last month in Atlanta.

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