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Swimming: Phelps seeks return to international stage

Published on Aug 6, 2014 6:18 AM
Michael Phelps warms up prior to the Saturday finals of the Bulldog Grand Slam at Gabrielsen Natatorium. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

IRVINE, United States (AFP) - Olympic superstar Michael Phelps will tackle the toughest test of his comeback this week at the US Swimming Championships, with a return to international competition on the line.

The 29-year-old swimmer's 18 Olympic gold medals include his glittering eight-gold campaign of the 2008 Games - organized with military precision by coach Bob Bowman.

But he's still feeling his way through the comeback he launched in April after a near two-year retirement, not quite sure just how it's going.

"I feel like obviously it could be better," he said. "It could be worse. I think it's been pretty decent, where I've been training and where I am." Mr Bowman said the championships, a qualifying meet for this month's Pan Pacific Championships and for next year's World Championships in Russia, will be the truest gauge to date of how far Phelps has come since he resumed serious training late last year.

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