Michael Phelps is back. Phelps won his ninth National title in the 200 fly in an outstanding time of 1:52.94. Phelps defeated runner-up Jack Conger by more than a second and a half, and he obliterated the fastest time in the world so far this year, a 1:53.48 that Laszlo Cseh swam on his way to winning the World title in Kazan on Wednesday. And immediately following the race, Phelps smashed the water in celebration and raised his pointer finger to signal “number one.”
After collecting his award for the win, Phelps spoke with a huge crowd of assembled media. Phelps went into detail about his race, explaining how his splits compared to what he had expected and hoped for and how much pain he felt on the end. Phelps shared what it meant to him to swim so fast – his best time in the event since setting the world record six years ago – even becoming emotional towards the end of the interview.