Gold Coast, Australia – Michael Phelps placed fourth in his first international final since coming out of retirement, with Cameron McEvoy upstaging the most decorated swimmer of all time to take the 100-meter freestyle title at the Pan Pacific championships.
The 20-year-old McEvoy of Australia won in 47.82 seconds in rainy conditions Friday night at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre's outdoor pool, edging Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of the United States into second place at 48.30 and world champion James Magnussen into third at 48.36.
“What more could I ask for?” McEvoy said. “I just felt great the whole way. It was an honor to be in a race with such great men - so much those guys have accomplished. It's just good to be there.”
Adrian said he wasn't surprised by McEvoy's win, saying competition is intense in the 100 freestyle.
“It's silly to think that it's just going to be James and I winning every time,” he said. “It's definitely not a two-man game anymore.”
Phelps, the 18-time Olympic gold medalist, opened his program in the morning heats and qualified third fastest, and went marginally slower at 48.51 in the night final. He was swimming a freestyle relay later Friday, and has butterfly and medley events over the weekend as he seeks to qualify for next year's world championships and the 2016 Olympics.
Australian sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell finished 1-2 in the women's 100 free, with Simone Manuel earning her first international individual medal when she held off U.S. teammate Missy Franklin for bronze. Cate Campbell swam the fastest time of the year to qualify fastest for the final in 52.62 seconds, and went a shade slower to win the gold at 52.72.
In the earlier 100 breaststroke finals, former 50 breaststroke world champion Jess Hardy won her first Pan Pac title over the 100
when she touched in 1 minute, 7.74 seconds, beating Kanako Watanabe of Japan by four-hundredths of a second.
Japan's Yasuhiro Koseki won the men's gold medal in 59.62, edging Brazil's Felipe Silva and New Zealander Glenn Snyders into second and third. American swimmer Kevin Cordes was disqualified for removing his goggles during the race. – Sapa-AP