Michael Phelps wins relay gold in Australia, takes aim at Rio

Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps rests on a lane rope after finishing fourth in the 100-meter freestyle final at the Pan Pacific swimming championships on Aug. 22.
(Rick Rycroft / Associated Press)

The Michael Phelps comeback story now includes a gold medal at an international meet.

Phelps grabbed his first major victory since returning to the pool, swimming for the U.S. men in the 800-meter freestyle relay at the Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.

“We all swam great legs of that relay, and we got the job done that we needed to,” he said, adding that the victory “should propel us into worlds next summer, and hopefully on to Rio from there.”

Things did not go as well for the 29-year-old Phelps in the 100 freestyle, where he finished fourth. Cameron McEvoy of Australia won that event in 47.82 seconds.


Competing outdoors in cool, rainy conditions along the Gold Coast, the Americans collected four gold medals, three silver and three bronze on Friday. Jessica Hardy won the 100 breaststroke and Elizabeth Beisel won the 400 individual medley.

“I overcame the bad weather,” Hardy said. “Normally I like the warm sunshine. I’m a bit of a diva, but I did a good job tonight.”

American stars Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin contributed to a U.S. win in the women’s 800 relay. It was Ledecky’s third gold of the meet.