Simone Manuel entered this week’s Pro Series stop in Knoxville, Tennessee, marking her first top-level swim meet since the Tokyo Olympics.
Manuel is joined on the entry list by Canadian Penny Oleksiak, with whom she shared 2016 Olympic 100m freestyle gold. The other American headliners are fellow individual Olympic champions Katie Ledecky, Bobby Finke, Chase Kalisz and Ryan Murphy.
Peacock airs live finals coverage Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. ET. USASwimming.org airs live finals coverage Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET and Saturday at 6 p.m.
Manuel, 26, was expected to take a break after the Tokyo Games, where she earned her fifth Olympic medal, a relay bronze.
She announced at the Olympic Trials in June 2021 that she had been diagnosed with overtraining syndrome and dealt with depression, anxiety and insomnia that spring.
A doctor told her that, pending she made the Olympic team, she needed to take two months off to let her body rest.
Manuel, who won a female record seven medals at the 2019 World Championships, did not compete at this past April’s international team trials, which meant she missed June’s world championships. That marked her first absence from a major international meet since the 2012 Olympics.
Then this past summer, Manuel announced she moved from Stanford to Arizona State and joined Bob Bowman‘s group. She also said she got engaged and switched swimwear sponsors from Tyr to Arena.
She then competed, along with some other pros, at a dual meet between Arizona State and Wisconsin in October, believed to be her first races of any kind since Tokyo. She swam 50-yard and 100-yard freestyles there.
The top U.S. sprinters in Manuel’s absence were Torri Huske, who took 100m free bronze at last June’s worlds, and Erika Brown, who shared 50m free bronze at worlds.
The top two per individual event at nationals in late June are in line to make the team for July’s worlds in Japan.
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