Phelps Looking to Regain Olympic Form
Michael Phelps didn't blame the rubberized suits. He blamed himself for losing in the 200-meter freestyle Tuesday in the world championships.
"Coming into this meet, I probably didn't prepare the best way that I should have," he said.
Phelps took six months off after winning eight swimming gold medals in the Beijing Olympics.
"I came in here not really knowing what to expect, because I've never really had a meet where I've gone into it like this," Phelps said. "I prepared how I prepared. I'm the only one who can control that. That's something I can change, and that's the bottom line."
Phelps also gave props to German Paul Biedermann, who not only beat him in the 200 but also blew away his world record in the process, for "a great race."
"I was beaten by the swimmer," Phelps said when asked whether he was beaten by the man or the suit. Biedermann was wearing a new all-polyurethane suit while Phelps was in a Speedo made of 50% polyurethane.
Phelps did say "it's going to be fun" racing Biedermann next year "when swimming is back to swimming" because new suit regulations should be in place.
The only other Americans to win medals Tuesday were Rebecca Soni and Kasey Carlson, who finished first and third, respectively, in the 100 breaststroke.
Biedermann led the entire race against Phelps and was ahead by four-tenths of a second when they made the last turn. Just as Phelps' usually superior underwater kick didn't make up the gap early, his usually superior finishing speed didn't catch Biedermann in the last few meters.
In fact, Biedermann won by more than a second, finishing in 1:42.00 to Phelps' 1:43.22.
"I was there in Beijing when he won his eighth gold medal," Biedermann said. "(That) was a really great moment for me. Now I'm actually faster than him. . . . I feel absolutely great about it."
In his short time back in training, Phelps has focused on transitioning to shorter races and on improving his butterfly.
"Deep down inside, I can't be mad. I can't be disappointed," Phelps said of Tuesday's result.