Olympic legend Michael Phelps returns to competitive swimming in Arizona

Last Updated: 24/04/14 10:47am

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Michael Phelps delighted to be back

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time, will make his return to competitive swimming on Thursday.

The American, whose 22 Olympic medals include 18 golds, has not raced since London 2012 but has joined a high-profile field for the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Arizona.

The three-day meet has attracted more than 500 swimmers, including Phelps' fellow Olympic medallists Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky.

Phelps has not yet revealed whether his comeback is aimed at securing a fifth Olympic appearance but has neither ruled out seeking fresh glory in Rio in 2016.

Journey

"I just missed being back in the water," said the 28-year-old American, whose four London golds followed an unprecedented eight gold medals in Beijing four years earlier.

"I am looking forward to wherever this road takes me, and I guess the journey will start (on Thursday)."

Phelps has entered three races in Mesa - 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle - which will give an early indication of form and fitness.

Top of the agenda, should he have serious competitive intentions this year, will be the US national championships in August, which also doubles up as the 2015 world championship trials.

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