Swimming: Phelps wins 200 individual medley at California meet

Swimming: Phelps wins 200 individual medley at California meet
PHOTO: AFP

Michael Phelps executed a solid race to win the 200 metres individual medley at the Pro Swim Series meet in California on Sunday.

The 18-times Olympic gold medallist led all the way in an event he has owned during most of his decorated career, clocking 1:59.39 to win by more than a second at the outdoor pool in Santa Clara.

The time ranks the American 18th in the world this year in an event he has won three times at the Olympics.

It was also more than three seconds slower than he swam to finish second at last year's Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.

Phelps did not peak for the Santa Clara meet. He is aiming for the national championships in San Antonio in August and, more importantly, next year's Rio Olympics.

Only 20 minutes after winning the 200 IM on Sunday, Phelps was back in the water for the 200 metres backstroke.

It has never been one of his best events, and he finished ninth and last in 2:04.11, more than seven seconds behind the winner, fellow American Ryan Murphy.

The 29-year-old Phelps, who retired after the 2012 Olympics but launched a comeback last year, will not contest August's world championships in Russia due to a drink driving conviction last year.

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