OMAHA, Nebraska, June 27. TOMORROW'S heats of the men's 100 freestyle will not feature Michael Phelps, who was a part of the United States' 400 freestyle relay at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
Phelps was listed in the psych sheets for the 100 free, seeded second with a 48.08, which he swam as the leadoff leg in the 400 free relay at last summer's world championships. By not swimming the event this week, his selection for the relay for the Olympics harkens back to the 2004 Trials, when Phelps did not swim the event in Long Beach, Calif., but swam the leadoff leg in the Athens Games, where the Americans won bronze. It was believed at the time that Phelps' time of 49.05 from earlier that year helped solidify his spot on the team.
This year, Phelps swam a 48.50 in the 100 free at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, and U.S. Olympic head coach Gregg Troy and Olympic assistant coach (and Phelps' personal coach) Bob Bowman are likely using that time as his official time for relay placement. Also, Olympic relay selection procedures state that any swimmer on the Olympic team is eligible to swim any relay.
In 2008, Phelps swam the 100 free prelims, putting up a time of 47.92 in prelims and scratching from semifinals. That time would have placed second in the final, and appeared to be good enough to put Phelps on the relay in Beijing, where he won the second of his eight gold medals in dramatic fashion.
Ryan Lochte, in an attempt to secure a spot on the London relay, is scheduled to race the 100 free tomorrow. He is seeded fifth with a 48.83.
Nathan Adrian is the top seed in the 100 free with his 48.05, swum at the world championship final.