FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Michael Phelps was pleased with his third national title in three days, viewing his dominant performance Saturday as a stepping stone toward his fifth Olympic berth.
The 18-time Olympic champion won the 200-meter butterfly in the U.S. Winter National Championships after winning the 200 individual medley Thursday and the 100 butterfly Friday at the King Aquatic Center.
Phelps finished in 1 minute, 56.11 seconds, leading comfortably at each turn. He set the world record in the event in 2009 at 1:51.51. Chase Kalisz was second at 1:57.19.
''Winning's always important, but for me it's more time-based right now,'' the 30-year-old Phelps said. ''For one, I'm happy I didn't get run down by Chase in the last 50, that's one thing, but just for me to be able to see progress; when you are training and it is hard and it's brutal and there are some days where you just don't want to be there, if you're actually seeing success, it makes you want to go back.''