Distance Superstar Janet Evans Returning to Competitive Swimming in Masters

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 4. WHILE rumors have run rampant lately in the online swimming community that Janet Evans is making a comeback, Swimming World has confirmed and can report that Evans is in fact returning to competitive swimming in Masters.

Her current plan is to train to compete at the 2011 United States Masters Swimming SCY Nationals to be held at the Kino Aquatics Complex in Mesa, Ariz., April 28-May 1. She will be competing primarily in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle events.

Evans is also giving the 400 IM a go, and will be looking to take advantage of the new technique and underwater pullout rules in the breaststroke that have come into play since her retirement.

While some might be dreaming of Evans jumping directly into the Olympic path with eyes toward the 2012 London Olympics, she is taking first things first with a foray into Masters swimming. The potential for even more elite competition is definitely still on the table, as Dara Torres proved with a similar path in her recent comeback bid that ended with an Olympic berth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Torres first returned to the pool in Masters competition after retiring from Olympic-level competition after the 2000 Sydney Olympics. After finding herself back in elite-level form much quicker than she might have thought to begin with, Torres decided to give an Olympic run a shot. That decision led to three silver medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, one in the 50-meter free.

Evans has an amazing resume as one of the greatest swimmers of all time. She holds four Olympic gold medals as well as a silver, and has won five world titles. She earned World Swimmer of the Year from Swimming World Magazine in 1987, 1989 and 1990. When she first retired after the end of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she had owned seven world records along with 45 U.S. national titles.