Phelps Loses Two Races At Charlotte UltraSwim
Fourteen-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time world record holder American swimmer Michael Phelps has lost in two of the races held during the weekend at the Charlotte UltraSwim, a USA swimming grand prix event. On Saturday, Phelps competed in 200-meter backstroke, conceding defeat to American Aaron Peirsol. Today, Phelps lost 100-meter freestyle to Frederick Bousquet of France. The two losses come as no surprise since Phelps has not competed in nine months. In fact, Charlotte UltraSwim was his first competition since the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he won eight gold medals. After suspicions of him using marijuana, Phelps was handed a three-month suspension, which prolonged his off season. Phelps is still doing well, having won the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke races at Charlotte UltraSwim. But for the most decorated Olympian of the 21st century, Phelps will have some work to do before his final Olympics in London in 2012.
Phelps was beaten again at the Charlotte UltraSwim, losing to French star Frederick Bousquet in the 100-meter freestyle Sunday night.
Phelps touched nearly a full second behind Bousquet, world-record holder in the 50 free, after losing his first final in nearly a year the previous night. Aaron Peirsol beat Phelps in the 200 backstroke.
The North Carolina meet was his first since capturing a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics. The nine-month layoff was the longest of Phelps' career, though he had intended to come back earlier — after being photographed using a marijuana pipe, a picture that wound up on the front page of a British tabloid, he was given a three-month suspension by USA Swimming.
The sanction ended May 5, and Phelps was eager to start competing again. He entered five events at Charlotte and won the first two, the 200 free and 100 back, both of which were part of his gold-medal haul in China.
Nothing gets Phelps going like a loss. Or two.
"This is something that will motivate me to fix those things over the next few weeks," he said. "I'm kind of mad at myself. I wanted to break 49. I was five-hundredths off it with the two stupid mistakes I made."
"For my first meet back, I have no complaints," he said. "We're on the right track. This is exactly where I want to be."