Michael Phelps, the American Olympic swimming star, will not try to repeat his incredible feat of Beijing. Phelps collected eight gold medals in 2008, which essentially cemented his place as the the best swimmer the world has seen.
The New York Times reports that Phelp’s coach, Bob Bowman, announced today that Phelps will not compete in the 200-meter freestyle in London, which reduces his event load to seven.
The Times adds:
“‘No one should be expected to do that twice,’ Bowman said of Phelps’s 2008 program. ‘Once was more than enough. Trust me. It was.’
“The decision allows third-place finisher Ricky Berens, who was already on the team as part of the 4 x 100 free relay, to swim an individual event. Phelps had to choose by Monday night, when trials conclude and the Olympic team is officially named.”
ESPN reports that part of the calculation is that the 200 freestyle preliminaries and semifinals are on the same day as the 400 freestyle relay.
If you remember, that relay was the closest call for the 2008 U.S. squad.
“We respect the challenge we’re up against,” Bowman told ESPN. “And perhaps we’ll be more ready than people think.”