BALTIMORE – Michael Phelps will not chase eight gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. His coach Bob Bowman tweeted late Monday morning that the Olympian will not race in the 200-meter freestyle, giving him a slate of seven events in London.
“I think it’s just smarter,” Phelps said Monday. “Sort of thinking of everything and thinking how things went here, I think it’s just a better option for me to be able to swim as best I can. And it’s going to give me the best opportunity to swim well. Being able to take those three 200s out, it’s going to give me a little more energy for the other events and an extra day to recover from the 400 IM, and the 200 fly obviously is something that’s important to me and that’s the next day as well.”
Phelps qualified for his fifth individual event, the 100-meter butterfly, at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Sunday. He is scheduled to swim in all three relays, which would have put Phelps in the same eight races he won at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
“(Phelps) will be removing the individual 200 freestyle from his Olympic program,” Bowman tweeted. “This will give him a full slate of 7 events.
“This change will allow him to focus more energy on relays for Team USA.”
Phelps’ seven events now are: the 100 and 200-meter butterfly, 200 and 400-meter individual medley, 400-meter freestyle relay, 800-meter freestyle relay and 400-meter medley relay
“The possibility of adding three relays, it ends up being a lot,” Phelps said. “This isn’t another Beijing; this is London. … It depends on how big of a cherry I want to put on the top of my sundae, and I think what I have right now is plenty big.”