The Sports Xchange
1:34 AM EDT, March 12, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio —
Despite all the success Michael Phelps has had in his career, he has always had disdain for the training required.
That didn't stop him from winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 to bring his total to 14 overall, but as the 26-year-old Fells Point resident gets older, he is also wiser about keeping ahead of the competition.
After three weeks of altitude training in Colorado, he came down for the Columbus Grand Prix and won all three of his events, capped by Sunday's victory in the 100-meter freestyle at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion at Ohio State University.
Just as he told the media before the meet, his efforts are paying dividends.
"Like I said the other day, training does work," he said with a chuckle. "I'm very pleased. The only thing I need to do right now is continue what I'm doing. I can't have any more hiccups.
"The last three weeks we put in some good training and it showed here. Things are heading in the right direction. We just have to keep everything going. If we're able to keep everything going like we've been doing, we're going hopefully to be in good shape."
He had already won the 200 free Friday and Saturday's 200 fly before recording the second-best time in the world this year in the 100 at 48.49 seconds.
Phelps made the turn even with Darian Townsend but pulled away from that point. Nicolas Oliveira (49.37) was second and Townsend third (49.47).
Earlier in the day, Phelps decided not to compete in the 200 backstroke after talking to his coach, Bob Bowman.
"I wanted to swim a good 100 and see where we were," Phelps said.
Phelps was philosophical about not training as hard as he could over the years.
"I knew then, but I made the decision not to [train as hard], and that's the decision I'll have to live with, but right now it's coming down to the end," he said.
Phelps had to share the spotlight on the final night with North Baltimore Aquatic Center teammate and Olympic medalist Allison Schmitt, who defeated a strong field in the women's 100 free.
"I was going in and just sprinting," Schmitt said. "That's not my best event; I guess I can swim it. It's definitely different when you swim the 400 and have to pace yourself. I'm more of a 400 swimmer, so it's easier to bring it back faster."
Schmitt, who was a winner in the 200 and 400 free during the meet, beat three-time Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin. Schmitt swam 54.77, while Coughlin was second at 55.12.
Meanwhile, two-time Olympic medalist Matt Grevers had the second-best 200 backstroke in the world this year (1:57.59) for his first win of the weekend.
In the evening session's first event, Gillian Ryan, also of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, posted a winning effort of 8:29.25 for the fourth-best women's 800 free in the world and the top American time this year.
Other winners included Jack Hendricks, men's 1,500 free (15:57.42); Townsend, men's 200 (2:00.72); Maria Fernanda Gonzalez Ramirez, women's 200 backstroke (2:10.75).
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