Michael Phelps set to make record fifth Olympic team; Wednesday finals preview

Michael Phelps
Getty Images
0 Comments

OMAHA — Michael Phelps has the chance to make more Olympic history on Wednesday night.

The 22-time Olympic medalist will become the first male swimmer to make five U.S. Olympic teams should he finish in the top two in the 200m butterfly (coverage starts at 8 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports app).

Phelps is a heavy favorite in this event, the one he swam at his first Olympics in 2000.

Phelps had the fastest time in Tuesday’s preliminaries and semifinals. Last August, he swam the world’s fastest 200m butterfly since 2009 (Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh has since gone .03 faster).

Currently, Phelps shares the men’s record of four U.S. Olympic swimming teams with Jason Lezak and Ryan LochteDara Torres made five Olympic teams.

An event-by-event outlook for Wednesday’s semifinals and finals session:

Men’s 100m Freestyle Semifinals
Olympic champion Nathan Adrian had the fastest time in morning heats (48.43), followed by collegians Ryan Held (48.46) and Caeleb Dressel (48.69). Notable veterans eyeing a top eight overall finish to reach Thursday night’s final are 2000 co-Olympic 50m free champ Anthony Ervin and Ryan Lochte, who were fourth and sixth fastest in the morning. Cullen Jones, a two-time Olympic 4x100m free relay member, failed to make the semis.

Update: Lochte scratched out of the 100m free semifinals. He is still eligible for the 4x100m free relay in Rio via making the Olympic team in the 4x200m free relay Tuesday night.

Women’s 200m Freestyle Final
This is struggling Missy Franklin‘s best chance at making the Olympic team. She qualified fourth fastest into this final, and the top six finishers Wednesday night are likely headed to Rio for the 4x200m free relay. The top two go individually. Katie Ledecky ought to be one of them, followed by either Leah Smith, who took second to Ledecky in the 400m free Sunday, or Allison Schmitt, the Olympic champion in this event.

Men’s 200m Butterfly Final
Phelps qualified 1.10 seconds faster than anybody else into this final but wasn’t satisfied with his first swims of Trials on Tuesday. Tom Shields, who beat Phelps in the 100m butterfly at the 2014 U.S. Championships, and training partner Chase Kalisz, who won the 400m individual medley on Sunday, are in the running for the second Olympic spot.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Women’s 200m Butterfly Semifinals
This event was nearly turned on its head Wednesday morning, when 2015 World silver medalist Cammile Adams was temporarily disqualified for an illegal turn. After video replay, she was reinstated with the fastest time of prelims by .91. The top eight from the two semifinals will make Thursday night’s final.

Men’s 200m Breaststroke Semifinals
Kevin Cordes, who broke the American record and won the 100m breaststroke earlier at Trials, is more known for his 200m breast. The 2015 World silver medalist had the fastest preliminary time by .89. Watch out for 6-foot-8-inch 16-year-old Reece Whitley, who was seventh in prelims. The top eight make Thursday night’s final.

Women’s 200m Individual Medley Final
Maya DiRado, who won the 400m IM on Sunday to make her first Olympic team, qualified fastest into the final by 1.21 seconds. The rest of the field is fighting for second, including 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz.

ZACCARDI: Gold medalists deal with disappointment at Trials