Phelps pulls out of 200 IM preliminaries at Pan Pacific

Coach says swimmer wants to save energy for relay

August 21, 2010|By Lisa Dillman | Tribune Newspapers

IRVINE, CALIF. — Michael Phelps withdrew today from the preliminary heats of the 200-meter individual medley at the Pan Pacific Championships here, meaning there would be no rematch against rival Ryan Lochte in the event.

"Michael is going to skip the 200 IM this morning so he can concentrate on the [medley] relay tonight," his coach Bob Bowman told reporters in the mixed zone before the heats. "The reason for that [is] it's going to take three really good swims to get through that and that at this point, neither one of us feel like he's got three really good ones.

"We'd like the good one to be on the relay tonight. He has the responsibility to do that. He did a good time at nationals [in the 200 IM] we think will hold up. We'll see how it plays out."

He said it had nothing to do with not wanting to lose to Lochte again. Lochte stunned Phelps in the 200 IM earlier this month at the U.S. nationals, beating him for the first time in that long course event in a major meet.

Bowman said it had to do with energy level. Or a lack of it.

"That was about all the gas that was in the tank after those two last night," he said.

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