Phelps has fallen so fall. If Phelps would have swam in or around his best time from several weeks ago he would have had a solid 1st place finish thereby beating the field by 2-seconds-plus.
His splits were good his times were slow. Noted in an MSNBC report is an odd quote by Bob Bowman:
The intensity of his training prompted coach Bob Bowman to take a three-week hiatus to Australia ("I wasn't helping myself, Michael, or anyone else, at that point," Bowman said), returning refreshed, and in time to regroup with Phelps in North Carolina.If Bob Bowman was in Australia for three weeks and then regroups with Phelps in Charlotte, what has Michael Phelps been doing these past three weeks?
"Michael has experience now, and he knows this," Bowman said. "Sometimes, he knows this too much. But we have 72 days to prepare for Shanghai, and that's where the focus is."
We are no longer hearing phrases like, "this was eye opening..., a wake-up call..., we have some work to do..." etc. etc. His rhetoric has now changed to "...I want to see if I still have it in the tank." [...] "Before, it came easy for me. I don't have two speeds anymore. I need to focus on the small things that I once took for granted."
This new rhetoric is troubling. Of course Phelps still has two speeds but his tank is empty and only professional dedication that matches the workload he maintained up to Beijing will "fill his tank" back up. Instead he appears to believe that this is merely an age related problem rather than a lack of an industrious workout schedule.
Apparently even Bowman is taking time off.