Michael Phelps prepares for 8 familiar Olympic events

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OMAHA, Neb. — Michael Phelps’ Olympic program is set. He’ll be going for another eight gold medals in London.

Michael Phelps swims to victory in the men's 100-meter butterfly final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. Phelps is preparing to swim the same eight-event program that he swam during his record-breaking Olympics in 2008.  MARK HUMPHREY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MARK HUMPHREY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Michael Phelps swims to victory in the men's 100-meter butterfly final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials. Phelps is preparing to swim the same eight-event program that he swam during his record-breaking Olympics in 2008.

And get ready to see a lot of Missy Franklin. She’ll be busy, too.

Phelps wrapped up another stellar week at the U.S. trials Sunday night, rallying to win the 100-meter butterfly and secure his spot in five individual races at the Olympics.

Phelps was slow off the blocks and made the turn in sixth place. But he caught Tyler McGill on the return lap and surged to the wall to win 51.14 seconds, well off his world-record pace (49.82) but fastest in the world this year.

McGill hung on for the second Olympic spot in 51.32. Ryan Lochte, swimming an event he normally doesn’t in major competitions, just missed adding another race to his already busy program. He was third, 33-hundreths behind McGill.

Phelps, who won an Olympic-record eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Games, is set to swim the same events in London: the 100 and 200 fly, the 200 and 400 individual medley and the 200 freestyle, as well as all three relays.

Phelps legacy is already secure, no matter what he does in London.

Franklin’s star is still on the rise.

The high school senior-to-be locked up her fourth individual event with a dominating win in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:06.12 seconds, fastest in the world this year and nearly 1 1/2 seconds ahead of runner-up Elizabeth Beisel, who secured the second spot in London at 2:07.58.

The 17-year-old Franklin had already earned spots in the 100 and 200 freestyle and 100 back. She’s also expected to swim on all three relays.

“I can’t believe I have seven events,” she said. “It’s so overwhelming but so exciting. The whole week went really, really well.”

The 200 back is Franklin’s best event. She’s the defending world champion and heads to London as the overwhelming favorite in that race.

“She’s the best in the world for a reason. She can beat all of us pretty handily,” Beisel said.

Beisel expects Franklin to thrive.

“She handles the media so well,” the runner-up said. “I can see a lot of pressure on her, but she handles it like she’s 25 and she’s been doing this for years. Props to her for being so amazing at that.”

Lochte, who already has three races against Phelps in London and a fourth individual event in the 200 backstroke, surprised everyone by sticking with the 100 fly at the end of a grueling week.

He nearly pulled it off, too. If not for McGill’s blistering start, Lochte probably would have gotten the second spot.

But he never had any intention of swimming the 100 fly at the Olympics because it would have left him with three events in one day.

“I still probably wouldn’t have swum it just because I don’t want to do that triple again in London,” Lochte said. “I have no regrets. This meet was a training meet.”

He plans on being even stronger at the games.

“I wanted to go at the end of this meet knowing that there is so much left,” Lochte said. “I haven’t fully rested yet. Come London, I’ll have that full taper and be fully rested and hopefully I’ll be a lot faster.”

He enjoyed getting another chance to race Phelps, even if he didn’t have much chance of beating him.

“It was fun,” Lochte said. “It was something I’ve never done before at a big swim meet. I just went out there and had fun.”

LOCAL CONNECTION

Steven Kekacs, C.J. Hendry and Katherine Huff competed Sunday at the US Olympic Team Trials.

Kekacs had a time of 15:51.05 in the men’s 1500-meter freestyle and finished 46th. Hendry posted a time of 26.36 in the women’s 50-meter freestyle and finished 75th. In the same event, Huff had a time of 27.15 and was 152nd.

None qualified for the finals.

– From staff reports


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