Michael Phelps won a final for the first time in his swimming comeback, with a victory in the 100-meter butterfly at the Charlotte Grand Prix.
The record 18-time Olympic gold medalist returned to competition last month for the first time since the 2012 London Games, ending a layoff of more than 1 1/2 years. He finished second in his first final, two-tenths of a second behind Ryan Lochte in the 100 butterfly in Mesa, Arizona.
Lochte didn’t compete in last night’s race in Charlotte, where Phelps won in 52.13 seconds, matching his time from the final in Mesa on April 24. Phelps touched the wall about six-tenths of a second ahead of Pavel Sankovic of Belarus.
Phelps, 28, previously said he was retiring after the 2012 London Games, where he won six medals to push his career total to 22. Last month, Phelps said he changed his mind because he missed the sport, though he’s not sure yet whether he’ll participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.