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Phelps back in the pool

Friday, March 28, 2014

LOS ANGELES - Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps is training five times a week and could be inching towards a comeback, his coach Bob Bowman told US media.

Bowman told USA Today and the Chicago Tribune that Phelps, who is eligible to compete again now he's met the anti-doping test requirements, has been working hard with an average of five sessions a week in the pool.

"He looks like he is definitely in shape," Bowman told the Tribune.

The American retired from swimming after bagging four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 London Olympics, taking his tally of Olympic medals to a record 22.

A record 18 of those are gold — including the unprecedented eight he won at the 2008 Beijing Games.

While Phelps had downplayed rumours that he was considering a return to competition in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics, he rejoined the US Anti-Doping Agency's testing pool last year, and now that he's been available for testing for six months is eligible to compete.

Bowman said that if Phelps feels he's fit enough, he could target the 2014 US Championships in Irvine, California, August 6-10.

The championships are the selection meet for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

Bowman said a returning Phelps would likely concentrate on relays and shorter events, including the 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle.

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