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Olympic legend Phelps returns to competitive swimming

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-14

Swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, is coming out of retirement at the age of 28.

Phelps, who has not competed since the 2012 London Games, will take part in an April 24-26 meet in Arizona along with fellow Olympians Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky.

Phelps returned to training last autumn and re-entered the US Anti-Doping Agency's drug testing programme in November – two moves that could signify he is considering a return to the swimming pool in time for the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

Phelps, who turns 29 in June, has won more medals than any other athlete in Olympic history. He tallied 18 gold medals and 22 medals overall at the last three Summer Games. He broke Mark Spitz’s record for a single Olympics by winning eight gold medals at Beijing in 2008.

He retired from competitive swimming following the 2012 London Olympics.

Phelps had repeatedly said before the London Games he would not contemplate a comeback after he retired and his coach downplayed any suggestions he was considering a return to compete at what would be his fifth Olympics in Rio.

Since leaving competition, Phelps has stayed busy with a chain of swimming schools, a foundation focused on water safety and appearances on behalf of his sponsors. He has also devoted lots of time to golf and participated in a reality show with famed coach Hank Haney.

The Next Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona, is the fourth stop of USA Swimming’s 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series, which gives the nation’s best swimmers the chance to face top-flight competition on US soil.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-04-14

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