Phelps takes on new events

May 8, 2009 at 4:18 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 8 (UPI) -- U.S. swimming star Michael Phelps said his return to swimming includes training for both the events he previously excelled at and events that are new to him.

Phelps said his first race since the Olympics, next week's Charlotte Ultraswim, will involve two events he is known for, the 200-meter freestyle and 100 butterfly, and three events he has not previously focused on, the 50 free, 100 backstroke and 100 free, The Washington Post reported Friday.

"You can kind of compare it to when Tiger (Woods) works on his putting game or chipping game," Phelps said. "It's something to add to his toolbox. I want to do other events to say I've done it."

Phelps was suspended from swimming in February after a photograph showed him allegedly smoking marijuana. He was not prosecuted for lack of evidence, but lost several lucrative promotional contracts.

Phelps, who took home eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, said it took him more than four months to decide whether he would continue to swim.

The swimmer said he is focusing his goals on the 2012 Olympics in London.

"I'm not going to go one year and hang it up," Phelps said. "If I'm going, I'm going to go for four."

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