By Candus Thomson
June 19, 2008
So it came as no surprise yesterday when the trials schedule showed Phelps competing in nine events over the eight-day meet that begins June 29 and Hoff in seven events.
Phelps, a six-time gold medalist at the 2004 Summer Games, entered the 100- and 200-meter freestyles, 200 and 400 individual medleys, 100 and 200 backstrokes, 100 and 200 butterflys and 400 free.
He is the world-record holder in the 200 free, 200 IM, 200 fly and 400 IM. At recent meets, his smile has gotten bigger and his times have fallen, and he shows no lingering effects from a broken wrist suffered in November.
Towson's Hoff, looking to make her second Olympics team, will compete in the 200 backstroke, 200 IM and 400 IM and the 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyles. She is the U.S. record holder in the 200 and 400 freestyles and 400 IM.
The trials will be held at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
Phelps, 22, from Rodgers Forge, is stalking the same goal as in 2004: to break Mark Spitz's 36-year-old record of seven golds in a single Games. To better his chances this time he has added three events.
Hoff is the only U.S. woman to qualify for all 13 events at the trials. She added the 800 freestyle this year for fun and is now seeded second.
Hoff, who turned 19 this month, said competing in a cluster of events works to her advantage.
"It takes the pressure off me being focused on one chance to win a gold medal. I have tons of chances. It allows me to be a lot more relaxed and take each race one at a time."
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