Phelps entered seven events in the eight-day meeting that begins today in Omaha’s 13,200-seat CenturyLink Center, but as of Saturday he wouldn’t confirm if he actually planned to race the first event on his docket — today’s 400m individual medley. Phelps has won it at the last two Olympic Games, but after Beijing vowed never to swim the punishing event again in major competition.
If he changes his mind, the first event of the trials could offer a first showdown between Phelps and Ryan Lochte. “The 200m IM, 400 IM, 200 free, 200 back — I know I’m doing those four,” Lochte said, laughing a little as he added: “I guess the other seven we’ll decide later.”
But Phelps, who remains the star attraction, admits he’s had to play catch up to Lochte and others. “I’m a lot more confident now than I was. I tried to get away with faking as much as I could, and I saw the results were pretty crappy,” Phelps said.