Phelps keeps mum on his Olympic targets

LOS ANGELES • Michael Phelps has learnt the value of candour, but the swimming star is still keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to his specific plans for the Rio Olympics.

The 30-year-old American, whose record 22 Olympic medals include an astonishing 18 golds, declined to confirm just what events he is aiming for in Rio during the United States Olympic Committee's pre-Rio Media Summit in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

"That's just a no-no question," he said. "That's just a question I flat-out won't answer. I've never answered that."

Phelps has won three straight Olympic titles in the 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley.

He won the 100m fly at last year's US championships in a time faster than that posted by South African Chad le Clos in winning gold at the World Championships - which Phelps missed because of the sanction for his drink driving.

The 200m fly - the first event in which a teenaged Phelps set a world record - could well be in the mix. He won it in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 but settled for silver in London.

He will also no doubt vie to add to his healthy stash of relay golds. "I think it's pretty obvious," he said. "I'm not going to tell you exactly what they are, what we're going to do. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what I'm going to try."

Meanwhile, he is committed to a rigorous training programme nowadays that is balanced by a strict attention to diet and recovery techniques aimed at keeping his body in tune.

"I'm just living a sort of freer, happier life now," he said.

Physically, he added, he has benefited from giving up alcohol.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'Phelps keeps mum on his Olympic targets'. Print Edition | Subscribe