Phelps' coach reveals ominous signs

Michael Phelps (File)
Michael Phelps (File)

Cape Town - Following Michael Phelps superb performance in the men's 4x100m freestyle on Sunday, coach Bob Bowman was a happy man.

The American team was behind in the pool when Phelps hit the water, but a sizzling split saw him put them in front, earning a lead they never relinquished.

SEE: 8 images that show how much victory means to Michael Phelps

The result was a 19th Olympic gold medal for Phelps... and a beaming Bowman.

"Michael usually works this way: When one thing is good, everything is pretty good," said the coach afterwards.

"It doesn't usually work in parts. So I feel pretty good now. He's in a good place now. Everything I've asked him to do, he's been really good at, way better than before trials."

It was at those trails where Phelps' place in the 4x100m team was not secure. Bowman revealed that he gave him one last shot... and he did not disappoint.

"It was the fourth-fastest flat-start time of the year," revealed Bowman.  

"That kind of automatically put him in the game. He was very much into it. He wanted to do it. I felt like we had to give him that chance.

"He hadn't really done a good 100 free in the season. I felt like after we got out of San Antonio, I knew he was so much better. So he needed to do that."

Fast forward to the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Sunday and Phelps was undoubtedly the star of the evening, with his 47.12 split being his fastest ever in the event and fourth fastest of all the swimmers there that evening.

"I hope that's a good sign," quipped Phelps.

"I guess we'll see over the next couple of days. But I'm very pleased with the start."

Ominous signs indeed...

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