Michael Phelps Loses to Ryan Lochte in First Race of Return to Competitive Swimming

(Photo: Rob Schumacher, USA TODAY Sports)
(Photo: Rob Schumacher, USA TODAY Sports)

Michael Phelps made a successful return to competitive swimming Thursday, leading qualifiers in the 100-meter butterfly at the Arena Grand Prix. Fellow American swimmer Ryan Lochte defeated Phelps in the final though, finishing in 51.93 seconds, the second fastest time in the world this year. Phelps’ time was 52.13 seconds.

Phelps, 28, was fastest in preliminaries at Skyline Aquatic Center in 52.84 seconds, ahead of rival Lochte in 52.94.

Phelps got up to the blocks quickly for the 14th and final heat of the 100 butterfly because he was so excited to race again. “I felt like a summer league swimmer,” he said. “I should have my heat and lane written on my hand in case I forget it. I didn’t want to wait any more. I wanted to get up and get this first race done.”

The winningest Olympian in any sport with 22 medals, Phelps has been away from the sport since Aug. 4, 2012 when he finished at the London Olympics.

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SOURCE: Jeff Metcalfe

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