American swimmer Michael Phelps has come second in his first event since coming out of retirement, the 100-metre Butterfly at a Grand Prix in Mesa, AZ.
Fellow US Olympian Ryan Lochte won with a time of 51.93, with Phelps touching the wall second in 52.13.
Earlier in the day Phelps swam his first 100-metre fly, finishing with the top time of 52.84 in the prelims. Immediately afterwards he expressed excitement to the on-deck TV reporter, “I felt like a kid, being able to race again and be back at a meet. I literally feel like a 10-year-old kid,” he said.
Lochte’s time is the second fastest of 2014, according to FINA’s website. Phelps’ time puts him tied for fourth, and he is the current world record holder with his 49.82 from 2009 World Championships.
While Phelps has been training since last fall, confirming he would compete did not happen until April 14. The return of the Olympic Games’ most-decorated athlete was welcomed by swimming fans, commentators and USA Swimming.
Phelps and his long-time coach Bob Bowman have not communicated any future plans, and in a pre-competition press conference, Phelps repeatedly said he was simply ‘having a lot of fun’ being back in the pool.
Phelps is entered in the 50-metre Freestyle on Friday. He was entered in Thursday’s 100-metre Freestyle but chose to swim only the 100-Metre Butterfly.
See tonight’s race here.