Phelps wins 100 Butterfly
Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 1, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. — Michael Phelps’ Olympic program is set. He’ll be going for another eight gold medals in London.
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.
In an ominous sign for his rivals, Phelps isn’t happy with just winning. He’s still looking for the perfect race.
“That was a pretty crappy first 50 and a pretty terrible finish,” Phelps said. “I should have taken another stroke. It felt OK. It didn’t feel great, didn’t feel terrible.
“It’s done, we’re done.”
Well, not quite.
The races that really matter are still to come in London.
“It shows that I can do the kind of event program like this at a high level again,” Phelps said. “We were struggling over the last couple years at doing one event at this level. (It’s good) being able to get a couple under the belt this week and hopefully build off of this. It will be good to get home and start heading toward London.”
Phelps legacy is already secure, no matter what he does in London.
Anthony Ervin has capped an improbable comeback by earning a trip to the Olympics.
Ervin, who won gold in the 50-meter freestyle at the 2000 Sydney Games, finished second behind Cullen Jones in that event at the U.S. trials, good enough for a spot in London.
The 31-year-old Ervin was one of the sport’s rising stars when he stunningly walked away in 2003, burned out on swimming and yearning to find a deeper meaning to life. He even auctioned off his gold medal to aid tsunami victims.
But Ervin returned to competition last year and quickly got back up to speed. Jones touched first in 21.59 seconds, but Ervin got there next (21.60).
His next race will be in London.