Michael Phelps wins twice at Grand Prix
Michael Phelps won the 200-meter freestyle and 100 butterfly at the Minneapolis Grand Prix on Friday night at the University of Minnesota.
Phelps pulled away from an impressive field for the 200, finishing in 1 minute, 46.88 seconds. He completed the 100 butterfly in 52.26.
The 14-time Olympic gold medal winner is the world record-holder in the 100 butterfly.
Phelps’ anticipated matchup with Ryan Lochte in the two events never materialized. Lochte finished third in the consolation final of the 200 freestyle and was eighth in the championship heat of the 100 butterfly in 54.49 seconds.
The men’s 200 freestyle was perhaps the premier event of the meet, featuring Phelps, Lochte, French teenage sensation Yannick Agnel, Chinese world champion Zhang Lin and Ous Mellouli, an Olympic gold medalist in the 1,500 freestyle.
Agnel finished second in 1:48.10, a full body length behind Phelps. Mellouli was third in 1:48.26.
Allison Schmitt won the women’s 200 freestyle in 1:55.82, ahead of Missy Franklin’s 1:57.13. The 16-year-old Franklin won the overall Grand Prix series title last year and is seeking her first Olympic berth.
The Minneapolis Grand Prix is the first of seven stops this season on USA Swimming’s Grand Prix series and is another step closer to the 2012 US Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. and the 2012 Olympics in London.
Brendan Hansen, 30, continued his impressive comeback after two years away from swimming by winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.13. A four-time Olympic medalist, Hansen won gold in the 100 and 200 breastroke at the national championships earlier this summer.
Jessica Hardy beat Olympian Rebecca Soni to win the women’s 100 breaststroke. Hardy touched the wall in 1:06.42, with Soni placing second with a time of 1:07.04.
The top swimmer in the Grand Prix series will receive $20,000, to be awarded at the final event in June in Santa Clara, Calif.