Irvine, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Michael Phelps finished second in the men’s 100-meter butterfly final Friday at the USA Swimming nationals in Irvine, Ca., 0.01 behind event winner Tom Shields, who timed in at 51.29.
Olympic silver medalist Chad le Clos of South Africa tied with Phelps for second.
Earlier in the preliminary heats, Phelps recorded a world-best time in the men’s 100 butterfly at 51.17 seconds, which was four-hundreds of a second faster than his gold medal-winning swim at the 2012 Olympics
“This has kind of been my event and the event I love swimming the most,” said Phelps said after his preliminary heat. “I wanted to put up the fastest time in the world [last month at a meet in Athens].”
That was a vindication for Phelps after he finished seventh in the men’s 100-meter freestyle last Wednesday.
Phelps has won three straight Olympic gold medals in the 100 butterfly, and he is the current world record holder — a 49.82, set in 2009.
The second-place finish guarantees Phelps a spot in the Aug. 21-25 Pan Pacific Championships in Australia alongside Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin, who qualified Wednesday.