Phelps roars from last to first in 100- me­ter free at Ari­zona meet

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY BETH HAR­RIS

Michael Phelps felt some­thing com­ing off the wall in the 100-me­ter freestyle, a sen­sa­tion he hadn’t ex­pe­ri­enced since re­sum­ing train­ing four months ago.

It was like a switch flipped in the 18-time Olympic gold medal­ist.

He zoomed off the wall in lane seven, ral­ly­ing from last to win in 49.72 sec­onds Satur­day night in his come­back from a six-month sus­pen­sion at the Arena Pro Swim Se­ries.

Ryan Lochte came in as the fastest qual­i­fier and fin­ished sec­ond at 49.77, while fel­low Olympian Conor Dwyer took third in 50.02.

Katie Ledecky won her fourth event of the meet in the 800 free. She briefly dipped un­der worl­drecord pace be­fore com­ing home in 8:13.02. The high school se­nior from Mary­land also won the 200, 400 and 1,500 freestyles.

Phelps, Lochte and Dwyer re­turned for the 100 free about 25 min­utes af­ter com­pet­ing in the 200 in­di­vid­ual med­ley.

Lochte led all the way in win­ning that race in 1:58.70. Phelps trailed Lochte af­ter the open­ing 50 me­ters, then dropped back to third and fin­ished there in 2:00.01. Dwyer was sec­ond at 1:59.04.

Phelps han­dled quick turn­arounds eas­ily dur­ing his his­toric run to eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympics. He had some doubts this time, hav­ing not com­peted since Au­gust.

Phelps was suspended by USA Swim­ming af­ter his sec­ond drunken driv­ing ar­rest last fall. He won the 100 but­ter­fly, fin­ished third in the 200 in­di­vid­ual med­ley and didn’t make the fi­nal in the 400 free dur­ing the four-day meet.

Lochte is tun­ing up for the world cham­pi­onships in Rus­sia in Au­gust.

Phelps has been banned from worlds as part of his pun­ish­ment by the sport’s U.S. gov­ern­ing body. He’s plan­ning to com­pete in Char­lotte next month and likely Santa Clara, Cal­i­for­nia, in June be­fore U.S. na­tion­als in Au­gust, which will be held at the same time as worlds.

Three-time Olympian Katinka Hosszu of Hun­gary won the 200 IM in 2:11.40 for her third victory of the meet. She came back later to fin­ish sec­ond be­hind two-time Olympic cham­pion Kirsty Coven­try of Zim­babwe in the 200 back­stroke.

Ari­anna Van­der­pool-Wal­lace of the Ba­hamas com­pleted a sweep of the women’s sprints, adding the 50 free to the 100 she won ear­lier. She fin­ished in 54.18 sec­onds, ahead of Olympian Al­li­son Sch­mitt, who touched in 55.35.

The fi­nal was miss­ing 12-time Olympic medal­ist Natalie Cough­lin, who was the fastest qual­i­fier in the morn­ing with the ex­act same time as Van­der­pool-Wal­lace in the fi­nal. Cough­lin scratched the fi­nal in or­der to re­turn home to Cal­i­for­nia. Also scratch­ing were Ledecky, while Si­mone Manuel and Lia Neal also headed home.

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