Olympic great Michael Phelps swam a third 2015 world-best time in as many days in the 200m individual medley at the USA National Championships. The 30-year-old, excluded from the World Championships by USA Swimming after a drink-drive conviction, won in one minute 54.75 seconds in Texas.
Phelps, an 18-time Olympic champion, also recorded the year’s fastest times to win the 100m and 200m butterfly. Ryan Lochte won world 200m individual medley gold in 1:55.81 on Thursday. American Lochte, 31, also holds the world record for the event of 1:54.00, which he swam in 2011. “Ryan and I have been pretty dominant in that race since we started racing back in 2004,” said Phelps.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in and competing with him. “I’ve been away from the sport for a while and I feel like I’m kind of back where I used to be. It’s good to be here.” On Saturday, Phelps won the 100m butterfly in 50.45 seconds, faster than the 50.56 South African Chad Le Clos swam to win world gold on the same day.
A day earlier, Phelps won the American 200m butterfly title in one minute 52.94 seconds in San Antonio – 0.54secs faster than Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh swam in winning the world title in Kazan, Russia. Phelps, who was convicted of drink-driving in December and served a six-month ban from competition, now has a record 55 national titles.