Shabazz I. Dawkins, The Paisano
Michael Phelps, the most highly decorated Olympian in history, added another feat to his monumental career on Friday, August 7: he clocked the fastest 200-meter butterfly time in the world in 2015 during The Phillips 66 National Championships in San Antonio, Texas. The event spanned five days and welcomed swimmers from across the globe as a tune-up meet in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“It’s good to do it on my own shore, in the country that I represent,” Phelps said. “I think it just shows you that anything is possible if you do want something bad enough. I went through a lot, and to be able to train like I did to get ready for this and do that, I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
Just one day after shattering the record in the 200-meter butterfly, Phelps broke another world record time when he swam 50.45 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly, claiming his second national title in as many days.
“Two pretty good swims in the 100 and 200 — I haven’t been that fast in a really long time,” Phelps said. “I think that was exactly where I want to be right now.”
Phelps won his third national title on the third day of competition in the 200-meter individual medley (IM) with his time of 1:54.75. Astonishingly, Phelps’ 200-meter IM time beat the previous world record time that was set just three days prior by fellow American Olympian, Ryan Lochte. Phelps concluded his time in San Antonio with three national titles and just as many world record times.
“I’m very happy,” Phelps said. “This is a great foundation, a place where I’ve never really been in a long time leading up to an Olympics. I definitely wasn’t like this leading up to ’12, so it’s probably been since 2007 that I’ve been like this.”
Caeleb Dressel, 18 years old, and Clair adams, 17 years old, both earned their second 2015 national titles on Sunday, August 9. Dressel won the 100-meter freestyle after taking gold in the 50-meter freestyle on Friday and Adams won both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke.
21 year old Jordan Wilimovsky wrapped up The Phillips 66 National Championships on Monday evening when he took home the gold medal in the 10-kilometer open water event by swimming a time of 14 minutes and 57.05 seconds, beating the runner-up by over 12 seconds. Wilimovsky’s victory earns him a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team and is the first swimmer to qualify for the team.
“I didn’t really know how fast I was going. I was trying to swim my own race, stay in my own lane and I was happy I was under 15,” Wilimovsky said.
NBC will broadcast exclusive television coverage from San Antonio on Sunday, August 16 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.