I can't stand to lose, says Phelps

Almost two years of retirement has meant Michael Phelps needs to listen to his body and take it slower than in the past but it has not dulled his competitive fire as he sent an ominous warning to his fellow swimmers at next week’s Pan Pacific championships in Australia.

“I still can't stand to lose,” the 18-time Olympic champion told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday ahead of his first international meeting since the 2012 Oly­mpics.

The 29-year-old Phelps, who retired after the London Games before he made a comeback earlier this year, qualified for the 100 metres butterfly and 200 individual medley at the Aug 21-24 Pan Pacs after finishing second in both events at the recently completed US championships.

The fact he was pipped by Tom Shields in the 100 butterfly by 0.01 seconds and by world record holder Ryan Lochte by 0.05 seconds in the medley in Irvine, grated with him though he did recognise he was getting older. “Losing by a hundredth (of a second) and losing by five one-hundredth at the (US) nationals in two out of three events was frustrating,” he added.

“I am taking it a lot slower now than what I did before because I do understand that I need to give my body time to get back and build up to where I want to be,” he added.”

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