Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Nathan Adrian, Cullen Jones
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U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials men’s event-by-event preview

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The top two finishers in all 26 events at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials will clinch Rio berths, which means Olympic and/or World champions will be left out of the exclusive team.

Michael PhelpsRyan LochteMissy Franklin and Katie Ledecky headline the meet in Omaha, Neb., beginning Sunday.

While they are favorites to make the Olympic team, they will be joined by many more Olympic medal threats.

For relays, the top six finishers in the 100m and 200m freestyles are in line to to make the Olympic team, too.

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Here’s a glimpse at all 13 men’s events at the Olympic Trials:

50m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Cullen Jones (silver), Anthony Ervin (fifth)
2015 Worlds: Nathan Adrian (silver), Anthony Ervin (ninth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Nathan Adrian (21.37)
2. Caeleb Dressel (21.53)
3. Anthony Ervin (21.55)
4. Josh Schneider (21.80)
5. Cullen Jones (21.83)

Outlook: Adrian, the Olympic 100m free champion, is about as big of a favorite as one can be in a 22-second race. His best time this year is three tenths faster than the No. 2 U.S. man (Ervin). Ervin, the 2000 co-Olympic champion in this event, is bidding at 35 years old to become the oldest U.S. man to swim an individual event at the Olympics since 1904, according to sports-reference.com.

100m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Nathan Adrian (gold), Cullen Jones (14th)
2015 Worlds: Nathan Adrian (seventh), Jimmy Feigen (20th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Nathan Adrian (48.00)
2. Michael Phelps (48.45)
3. Anthony Ervin (48.71)
4. Caeleb Dressel (48.74)
5. Josh Schneider (48.76)
6. Maxime Rooney (48.87)
7. Michael Chadwick (48.87)
8. Ryan Lochte (48.90)

Outlook: Adrian is again a heavy favorite. Dressel may be his biggest challenger, because of Ervin and Schneider’s advanced ages and Phelps and Lochte probably not eyeing the final. The top six are in line to make the 4x100m free relay pool (plus anyone else on the Olympic team is technically eligible). Phelps and Lochte may want to merely post a time fast enough (even in prelims, then dropping out of the event) to be considered for the relay.

200m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Ryan Lochte (fourth), Ricky Berens (ninth)
2015 Worlds: Ryan Lochte (fourth), Conor Dwyer (ninth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Ryan Lochte (1:45.36)
2. Conor Dwyer (1:45.41)
3. Maxime Rooney (1:47.10)
4. Zane Grothe (1:47.11)
5. Reed Malone (1:47.15)
6. Blake Pieroni (1:47.30)
7. Townley Haas (1:47.55)
8. Jack Conger (1:47.62)

Outlook: Phelps is also entered in this event, seeded 14th, but like the 100m freestyle, he probably only has relay designs. Lochte and Dwyer are the clear favorites to make the individual 200m free for Rio. The six-man 4x200m free relay pool, though, will definitely include multiple Olympic rookies.

400m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Peter Vanderkaay (bronze), Conor Dwyer (fifth)
2015 Worlds: Connor Jaeger (fourth), Michael McBroom (eighth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Connor Jaeger (3:44.81)
2. Zane Grothe (3:45.98)
3. Conor Dwyer (3:46.09)
4. Michael McBroom (3:46.69)
5. Clark Smith (3:47.10)

Outlook: With Vanderkaay retired, Jaeger has stepped into the leading role in this event along with his favored 1500m freestyle. McBroom, too, is more well-known for longer distances. While Jaeger and Grothe’s seed times are from 2015, it’s Dwyer who has been the fastest in the U.S. this year by more than two seconds.

1500m Freestyle
2012 Olympians: Connor Jaeger (sixth), Andrew Gemmell (ninth)
2015 Worlds: Connor Jaeger (silver), Michael McBroom (sixth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Connor Jaeger (14:41.20)
2. Jordan Wilimovsky (14:53.12)
3. Michael McBroom (14:56.17)
4. Sean Ryan (15:03.82)
5. Clark Smith (15:05.97)

Outlook: Jaeger is a heavy favorite here. Wilimovsky and Ryan already made the Olympic team in the open-water 10km event, which takes place three days after the Olympic 1500m final. There will be added pressure on McBroom if he fails to make the Olympic team earlier at Trials in the 400m free.

100m Backstroke
2012 Olympians: Matt Grevers (gold), Nick Thoman (silver)
2015 Worlds: Matt Grevers (bronze), David Plummer (ninth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. David Plummer (52.51)
2. Matt Grevers (52.54)
3. Ryan Murphy (52.57)
4. Jacob Pebley (53.57)
5. Eugene Godsoe (53.96)

Outlook: Plummer hopes to make his first Olympic team at age 30. He’s in what appears to be a three-man race for two spots with the Olympic champion Grevers and Murphy, a rising University of California senior. Thoman is not entered in Trials.

200m Backstroke
2012 Olympians: Tyler Clary (gold), Ryan Lochte (bronze)
2015 Worlds: Ryan Murphy (fifth), Tyler Clary (seventh)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Tyler Clary (1:54.73)
2. Ryan Murphy (1:54.94)
3. Jacob Pebley (1:56.29)
4. Ryan Lochte (1:56.47)
5. Sean Lehane (1:57.11)

Outlook: Clary and Lochte’s seed times are from 2014. Murphy, whose seed time is from this year, is 1.44 seconds faster than the second-best American this year. He is the favorite, even though Clary and Lochte won the last two Olympic titles in this event.

100m Breaststroke
2012 Olympians: Brendan Hansen (bronze), Eric Shanteau (11th)
2015 Worlds: Cody Miller (ninth), Nic Fink (12th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Cody Miller (59.51)
2. Nic Fink (59.52)
3. Andrew Wilson (59.65)
4. Kevin Cordes (59.70)
5. Sam Tierney (1:00.15)

Outlook: No American has separated himself as a medal contender in this Olympic cycle, since Hansen’s second retirement. Don’t forget Michael Andrew, who turned professional at age 14 in 2013 and set a personal best of 1:00.37 on Saturday.

200m Breaststroke
2012 Olympians: Scott Weltz (fifth), Clark Burckle (sixth)
2015 Worlds: Kevin Cordes (silver), Nic Fink (10th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Kevin Cordes (2:07.86)
2. Josh Prenot (2:08.58)
3. Nic Fink (2:08.89)
4. Cody Miller (2:09.08)
5. Andrew Wilson (2:09.84)

Outlook: Cordes, a 22-year-old who trains in Singapore, finally realized his potential on an international stage by taking world championships silver last year. Prenot was beaten in this event at the NCAA Championships in March but appears to be better in the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool than the 25-yard college pools.

100m Butterfly
2012 Olympians: Michael Phelps (gold), Tyler McGill (seventh)
2015 Worlds: Tom Shields (fourth), Tim Phillips (13th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Michael Phelps (50.45)
2. Tom Shields (51.03)
3. Jack Conger (51.33)
4. Tim Phillips (51.49)
5. Ryan Lochte (51.55)

Outlook: The three-time reigning Olympic champion Phelps was actually beaten by Shields in this event at the 2014 U.S. Championships by .01 of a second. But Phelps’ 50.45 at the 2015 U.S. Championships marked the fastest time in the world since 2009. If he’s in form, everyone else is fighting for second place.

200m Butterfly
2012 Olympics: Michael Phelps (silver), Tyler Clary (fifth)
2015 Worlds: Tom Shields (eighth), Tyler Clary (12th)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Michael Phelps (1:52.94)
2. Jack Conger (1:54.54)
3. Tom Shields (1:55.09)
4. Tyler Clary (1:55.42)
5. Andrew Seliskar (1:55.92)

Outlook: Phelps’ seed time in this event from the 2015 U.S. Championships also was the fastest in the world since 2009, though longtime Hungarian rival Laszlo Cseh bettered it earlier this year. Phelps is ranked sixth in the U.S. in the event this year, so he looks more vulnerable than in the 100m butterfly. But nobody in the U.S. has broken 1:56 this year to scare him.

200m Individual Medley
2012 Olympics: Michael Phelps (gold), Ryan Lochte (bronze)
2015 Worlds: Ryan Lochte (gold), Conor Dwyer (fifth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Michael Phelps (1:54.75)
2. Ryan Lochte (1:55.81)
3. Conor Dwyer (1:57.41)
4. Josh Prenot (1:58.38)
5. Will Licon (1:58.43)

Outlook: The times say Phelps and Lochte are in a class of their own in this event — and they have been, winning every Olympic and World title the last 12 years — but at some point the younger generation will pass them. Dwyer, at 27, is closer to Phelps and Lochte’s ages but has looked strong this year. Licon and Prenot went one-two at the NCAA Championships. The 2015 NCAA champion David Nolan and Phelps training partner Chase Kalisz could factor in, too.

400m Individual Medley
2012 Olympics: Ryan Lochte (gold), Michael Phelps (fourth)
2015 Worlds: Chase Kalisz (bronze), Tyler Clary (fourth)
Top seeds from entry lists
1. Tyler Clary (4:09.03)
2. Chase Kalisz (4:09.62)
3. Jay Litherland (4:12.43)
4. Ryan Lochte (4:12.66)
5. Josh Prenot (4:13.15)

Outlook: After taking Olympic gold, Lochte swam this grueling event once combined in all of 2013 and 2014. He raced it more often since the start of 2015 and ranks second in the U.S. this year behind Kalisz, who owns two straight world championships 400m IM medals. Clary is the top seed but hasn’t broken 2:11 since 2014.

MORE: Olympic Swimming Trials broadcast schedule

Ginny Fuchs hopes to emerge from OCD, tearful Olympic experience

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None of the boxers at this week’s U.S. Olympic Trials competed at a prior Olympics, but flyweight Ginny Fuchs remembers the specifics of her one Olympic experience in Rio.

Fuchs, who won the 2016 Olympic trials but failed to clinch a spot at the Games in international qualifiers, was nonetheless named team captain and brought to Rio as a sparring partner.

She had mixed feelings. Watching from the crowd as Claressa Shields repeated as Olympic champion on the final day of the Games was motivating. Fuchs had toyed with turning professional but, after talking to Shields, decided to forge another four years as an amateur for another chance to become an Olympian.

The Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony, two weeks before that Shields final, was too much for Fuchs to bear. She could not stay in the Athletes’ Village nor march with the U.S. delegation at the Maracana.

“I remember watching the Opening Ceremony at the place I was at with everybody,” she said. “I couldn’t watch. It was hard for me to watch. I went back to my room, cried and went to bed.”

Fuchs is favored to win the 51kg/112-pound division this week at Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Lake Charles, La., with finals streaming live on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday (4-7 p.m. ET). It’s one of five women’s Olympic weight classes, up from three in 2012 and 2016, the first two editions of the Games for female boxers.

No boxer can clinch an Olympic spot this week, but failing to make a final would all but end Tokyo hopes.

Fuchs’ toughest opponent in this Olympic cycle — which included an undefeated 2017 and a 2018 World bronze medal among more than 130 fights — may be herself. Fuchs has been open about struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

It started in fifth grade.

“I can remember the first time I was on the school bus, and I was looking at the ground and looking at everybody’s backpacks on the floor,” said Fuchs, a 31-year-old from the Houston area. “And an instant thought came in mind, like, Oh my god. Everybody’s backpack is getting contaminated by this dirty floor on the bus.”

She cited a more recent example: spending up to 40 minutes washing her hands searching for that “perfect clean feeling.” Fuchs found boxing via a boyfriend after she was kicked off the LSU cross-country running team as a freshman walk-on for damaging school property in a prank.

She said the disorder hit her hardest this year. In January, she was driving to a Walmart three times a day to buy cleaning supplies, according to The New York Times.

She underwent intensive therapy and skipped October’s world championships, where she could have established herself as a clear Olympic gold-medal favorite.

“I still am going to probably do therapy for the rest of my life,” Fuchs said. “Maybe not as intense as I’m doing it right now, but it’s almost like training for boxing.

“You’ve got to keep training to keep winning in boxing. So I’ve got to keep training my OCD thoughts and how to handle and manage it. … Boxing is giving me hope almost. Like OK, outside the ring and in my room and the bathroom, I feel like [OCD] controls me and feel trapped. But I have this environment in this space in the gym, in the boxing ring, where I can be myself. And not let it attack me in a way where I can still enjoy life and not be trapped.”

Should Fuchs make the final of her division in Lake Charles, she will advance to a January camp and tournament, after which the U.S. roster for Olympic qualifying will be named.

If selected, Fuchs would head to a North and South American Olympic qualifying event in early spring in Buenos Aires to clinch the spot she could not secure four years ago. If necessary, she could get a second chance at a global qualifier in May in Paris.

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Yulia Efimova has lawyer ready if Russia ban affects her

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Yulia Efimova, the Russian swimmer who earned two Rio Olympic silver medals after initially being excluded from the Games for serving a prior doping ban, is bracing for another legal fight after the latest sanctions against her nation.

On Monday, Russia was banned from the 2020 and 2022 Olympics and the next four years of world championships in Olympic sports due to more recent anti-doping violations. However, its athletes can still compete as neutrals, if meeting specific anti-doping criteria, similar to how they did at the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Efimova was initially barred from the Rio Olympics under an IOC mandate that any Russian who previously served a doping ban would be ineligible due to the country’s anti-doping violations at that time.

Efimova appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which ruled that IOC stipulation unenforceable. She went on to earn 100m and 200m breaststroke silver medals and develop a rivalry with American Lilly King, who said Efimova should not have been eligible.

It’s unclear from Monday’s ruling whether Efimova will be allowed to compete as a neutral, should Russia accept the sanctions or any appeal to CAS by the nation be denied.

“I will behave in a similar way,” to 2016, Efimova said, according to RT.com. “I have already hired a lawyer. There is a rule that a person can’t be punished twice for the same offense. If you violate a driving code or instigated a brawl you will not be punished twice for that. I hope it will work, but I cannot be sure of [a positive outcome].

“Right after my race at the Rio Games, I said that this doping controversy was not over, it was just the beginning, and we would have problems in the future. It was quite clear. And with every new year the situation is only getting worse and worse.”

Efimova, 27 and the two-time reigning world 200m breast champion, was banned 16 months between 2013 and 2015 after testing positive for a steroid. A FINA panel ruled that Efimova was not intentionally trying to cheat but was negligent in failing to read the label of a GNC store supplement.

“Yes, long ago I made a doping violation,” Efimova said this week, according to RT. “But there are a great number of U.S. and European athletes who have a similar situation regarding doping, and they are competing without any restrictions. If you want to introduce those regulations, they must be equally applied to all athletes, not only Russian competitors.”

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