The 400-meter individual medley is among swimming’s most grueling races, and Phelps swore off the event after setting a world record time of 4:03.84 while taking gold in Beijing. After some consideration and strong showings, Phelps has changed his mind.
Yahoo Sports reported that Michael Phelps would compete in the event at the US Olympic Trials, and compete he has. Phelps won his heat today, qualifying for the finals where he will face Ryan Lochte, who posted the fasted time of the day at 4:10.66.
USA Today reports that the seeds for tonight’s 400 IM final are as follows: 1. Ryan Lochte, 2. Michael Phelps, 3. Chase Kalisz, 4. Tyler Clary, 5. Harris, 6. Michael Weiss, 7. Andrew Gemmell, 8. Robert Margalis.
If Phelps qualifies to race the 400m medley in London, he will have a chance to become the first male swimmer to take gold in the same event in three consecutive Olympics. Japanese breaststroke star Kosuke Kitajima also has that chance, but the Olympic schedule has the medley taking place earlier in the week.
Phelps time in his heat was 4:14.72, which while not his best was still eight seconds faster than Tyler Harris, who finished second in the heat.
Phelps and his coach had been secretive about what events he would compete in, but for his part Phelps seems at peace with whatever happens.
“We’ve done a lot of cool, amazing things and now it’s just time to have fun,” Michael Phelps said. “We’re more relaxed and we’ll see after this week what size cherry I want to put on top of my sundae.”