IRVINE, Calif. – Two events, two losses for Michael Phelps.
Tom Shields upset the three-time Olympic champion by a hundredth of a second to win the 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. national championships Friday night.
Shields touched in 51.29 seconds, tying for the second-fastest time in the world this year. Phelps was second in 51.30 – still third-quickest in the world – but he lost for the second time in two events in the biggest meet since he launched a comeback in April after 1 1/2 years in retirement.
“I’m somebody who can’t stand to lose,” Phelps said. “I don’t care if it’s by a hundredth or by five seconds. This will definitely motivate me.”
Phelps is still likely to earn a spot on the U.S. team for the Pan Pacific Championships this month, but he could have guaranteed himself a trip to Australia with a win. He finished next-to-last in the 100 freestyle Wednesday.