Allison Schmitt to compete for first time since Rio Olympics
Allison Schmitt, an eight-time Olympic medalist, will race at this weekend’s USA Swimming Pro Series meet in Mesa, Ariz., her first competition since the Rio Olympics.
The headliners include Schmitt and fellow individual Olympic champions Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy and Matt Grevers, plus Chase Kalisz, who swept the individual medleys at the 2017 World Championships.
It was possible that Katie Ledecky could make the Pro Series meet her professional debut, but she did not enter.
The Mesa meet runs Thursday through Sunday, with live coverage of finals on Olympic Channel (Friday) and NBCSN (Saturday).
Schmitt, now 27, earned medals in all five of her events at the 2012 Olympics, including gold in the 200m freestyle and the 4x100m medley and 4x200m free relays.
She struggled with depression between London and Rio. She also failed to qualify for the biggest meets of 2013 (World Championships), 2014 (Pan Pacific Championships) and 2015 (World Championships).
Schmitt rebounded to make the Rio Olympic team in the 4x100m and 4x200m free relays, earning silver and gold medals at her third Games.
While Schmitt remained in the drug-testing pool last year to stay eligible for meets, she did not compete. In September, longtime friend and training partner Michael Phelps teased at a potential Schmitt comeback with Instagram posts referencing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Dara Torres, Jenny Thompson and Amanda Beard are the only U.S. female swimmers to compete in four Olympics.
After Mesa, the Pro Series moves to Indianapolis (May 16-19), Santa Clara, Calif. (June 7-10) and Columbus, Ohio (July 6-8) on the road to the U.S. Championships in July and Pan Pacific Championships in August.
The Pan Pacific Championships are the major international meet of the year, featuring top swimmers from nations outside Europe.
Times from nationals and Pan Pacs determine the U.S. team for the 2019 World Championships in South Korea.
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