Phelps made a low key start at the competition on Thursday, but the 200m win was a confidence booster in an event he’s found tough in his comeback, reports Xinhua.
“I swam that like I used to always swim it,” said Phelps, who smashed the 200m free world record and made it one of his eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“I kind of just stepped on the gas in the first hundred, and that’s when I swim my best 200 free.”
The 18-time Olympic gold medalist just missed out on qualifying for the championship final in the event.
His winning “B” final time of 1:48.21 would have given him bronze in the championship race won by Conor Dwyer in 1:46.61.
“I think the biggest thing I had tonight is I was able to get confidence back in that race,” Phelps said. “I haven’t really swum that race well in a long time.”
Phelps, always cagey about just what his Olympic program plans are, said he wasn’t sure if he’d tackle the 200m free at the US Olympic trials in June.