Olympic Trials 2012: Michael Phelps Not Done Yet

Tyler DonohueNational Recruiting AnalystJune 28, 2012

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 27:  Michael Phelps competes in the second semifinal heat of the Men's 200 m Butterfly during Day Three of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on June 27, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Michael Phelps' performance in Wednesday night's 200-meter freestyle final garnered a ton of attention, but there's a lot more to come from him at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Phelps' victory  over American rival Ryan Lochte sets up yet another tantalizing duel between the two in London, but Phelps can't worry about that yet.

He and Lochte will race again this week. And next up for Phelps, on Thursday, is the final in arguably his best event: the 200-meter butterfly.

Phelps is seeking his third consecutive victory in the U.S. Olympic trials 200 fly competition. He won with authority in 2008 and 2004 and will be the heavy favorite to claim the title again on Thursday. 

In the final, Phelps will face the two men who topped him in the semis (Davis Tarwater and Bobby Bollier), along with fourth-place finisher Tyler Clary and four qualifiers from Wednesday's earlier semifinal race (Mark Dylla, Michael Flach, Dan Madwed and Dakota Hodgson).

So, do you take Phelps or the field?

He responded to all the Lochte talk with an exemplary effort in the 200 freestyle final, so it's hard not to like Phelps' chances. His ability to rise to the occasion when it counts can't really be questioned at this point (although many are trying to do just that).

Of course, no Phelps story would be complete without mentioning his next showdown with Lochte. America's audience won't have to wait until London for the next bout.

The two will tango once more in the men's 200 individual medley, which is already being billed as "Phelps vs Lochte: Round Three." The final is Saturday. Assuming one of those two men wins the event (there are other swimmers involved, in case you forgot), it will give the victor a 2-1 edge in finals matchups at the U.S. Olympic trials and provide them with a little extra buzz in the weeks leading up to London.

"I feel old," the 26-year-old Phelps told ESPN after his Wednesday night victory in the 200 freestyle final. "Just getting in the water to race is what motivates me."