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Movers, shakers and newsmakers of 2007

Swimming

For Hoff, Phelps, Worlds Are Measuring Stick

January 01, 2007|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG | KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG,SUN REPORTER

Two years ago, Katie Hoff of Towson showed up at the FINA World Championships in Montreal and definitively put to rest any questions about her confidence and ability to perform under pressure.

This March, at the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, the only question she'll likely have to answer is whether or not she's the best female swimmer in the world - if she hasn't answered it already.

Michael Phelps of Rodgers Forge was hoping that these World Championships might be an opportunity to re-ignite a rivalry with Australian swim legend Ian Thorpe. But Thorpedo's decision to retire from competition means that Phelps will - as is often the case - mostly be competing against history and against himself.

Hoff and Phelps' efforts in Melbourne will be a measuring stick for where they are and what they need to focus on in the hectic year before the Olympics.

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