Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement to swim next week in the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz.
The Olympic swimmer will compete in a meet in Mesa April 24-26. It will be Phelps’ first competitive meet since the 2012 London Olympics.
Phelps, 28, holds 18 Olympic gold medals, and 22 medals overall.
Bob Bowman, Phelp’s longtime coach, said on Monday that Phelps is entered in three events — the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle, and the 100 butterfly.
“I think he’s just going to test the waters a little bit and see how it goes,” Bowman said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a full-fledged comeback,” he said.
Phelps has been training on Monday through Friday with Bowman’s team at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club in his hometown.
Phelps will swim in the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly preliminaries the first day. If he qualifies, he will decide which race to swim in the evening finals. Bowman said Phelps will swim the 50 meter freestyle on the second day, and that he may also swim the 50 meter butterfly “just for fun.”
Although Phelps has not confirmed interest in entering to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, there is speculation he has his eye on the Rio Games.
Phelps has been back in training since fall, and he also re-entered a drug testing program with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. His six-month waiting period to be eligible to enter the competition ended in March.
Bowman said Phelps has “gotten back into good shape since September,” but that he is “pretty far” from being back in top form.
”He can give a good effort and certainly not be embarrassed. He’s in enough shape to swim competitively,” Bowman said.
In addition to Phelps, Besides Phelps, Olympians Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky are among those expected to swim in the Arena Grand Prix at Skyline Aquatic Center next week.
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