PHOENIX, Arizona, May 14. MICHAEL Phelps swam in what he says is his last Grand Prix competition over the weekend at the Charlotte UltraSwim. Phelps collected two second-place finishes over the weekend, in the 200 free and 200 fly. Ricky Berens held off Phelps in the 200 free, as Berens posted a fast 1:47.32 to Phelps' 1:48.01. A day later, China's Wu Peng touched out Phelps to win the 200 fly with a great last 50. Look for Wu and Phelps to battle again in the 200 fly in London.
Ryan Lochte had a streak of bad luck last weekend, including losing his goggles in the 400 IM and hitting the lane line in the 100 back, but he put together one great swim to end the meet, a 1:57.63 in the 200 IM. That time bumps him to third in the world behind Phelps and Thiago Pereira, while also beating Pereira's 2009 meet record. Lochte rarely wears a jammer during in-season meets, but he put one on for the 200 IM to post the quick time.
Dana Vollmer looked sharp with the second-fastest times in the world in both the 50 and 100 fly in Charlotte. Her 57.21 in the 100 fly trails only Sarah Sjostrom's 56.79 from Great Britain's Olympic Trials in March, and only Jeanette Ottesen has swum faster than Vollmer's 25.80 in the 50.
Rebecca Soni lit up the women's breaststroke events in Charlotte with the fastest times in the world in both distances. She posted a 1:05.85 to beat world record-holder Jessica Hardy by nearly two seconds in the 100 breast before tying her own meet record with a 2:22.22 in the 100 breast.
Eric Shanteau matched Soni with a sweep of the men's breaststrokes. Shanteau put up a 1:00.46 in the 100 to move to 13th in the world, and into a tie for sixth in the world with Clark Burckle in the 200 breast with a 2:09.72.
Katie Ledecky, just 15 years old, emerged as a legitimate challenger for the Olympic team when she pushed Allison Schmitt down to the wire in the 400 free. Schmitt moved to fourth in the world with her 4:05.40, but Ledecky charged hard into the wall and came out with a 4:05.79, easily her lifetime best and the ninth-best time in the world. Ledecky then finished the weekend with an easy win in the 800 free with a 8:25.85, the fourth-fastest time in the world. Ledecky swam that 800 almost alone, as no one came within ten seconds off the Curl-Burke swimmer.
Germany began filling its Olympic roster last week at the Olympic Trials, and Britta Steffen will have the opportunity to officially defend her 50 and 100 free Olympic titles with times of 24.92 and 53.68. Paul Biedermann did not have to put too much focus on this meet, as he was pre-selected for the London Olympics after winning two bronze medals at the World Championships in Shanghai. He cruised to a win in the 400 free with a 3:47.98 and won the 200 with a 1:46.70.
Christian von Lehn was also pre-qualified for the London team based on his bronze medal performance in the 200 breast at the world championships. Von Lehn placed second in the 200 breast behind an improving Marco Koch, 2:09.48 to 2:10.07.
Markus Deibler, Jan-Phillip Glania and Jenny Mensing set German records at the meet, giving Germany more Olympic medal hopes. Many of those who were unable to post times fast enough to make the Olympic team will have another shot next week at the European championships. Martin Grodzki does not appear to be one of those people, as he is not on the roster for Europeans. Grodzki, who won the 1650 free in record time at the NCAA championships, swam a 15:10.47 in the long course mile, which was faster than the FINA A cut, but slower than the time Germany is requiring for automatic selection.
A trio of Polish swimmers also booked tickets to the Olympics this weekend at their nationals. Cal's Marcin Tarczynski, the 200 IM NCAA champion, set a Polish record in the 100 back with a FINA A standard. Former 200 fly world champion Pawel Korzeniowski earned a spot in his third Olympics with a 1:56.64 in his signature event, and Konrad Czerniak made his way onto the Olympic team as well with a 22.04 in the 50 free.
China was back on top at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend with six out of eight wins. Chris Colwill's win on the three-meter and Malaysia's Huang Qiang and Bryan Nickson's gold medal in the men's three-meter synchro event kept the Chinese from getting a gold-medal sweep.
Gary Hall, Jr. and Jenny Thompson were among the athletes officially announced as inductees to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame over the weekend. Hall swam in three straight Olympics before falling short in his bid for the 2008 team, while Thompson made each Olympic team from 1992 through 2004, winning medals at each Games.