Indianapolis: Michael Phelps, a 14-time Olympic champion, continues his preparation for the 2012 London Olympics when he swims five races at a US Grand Prix meet in Indiana University Natatorium.
Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will be tested by US rival Ryan Lochte in four events, Thursday`s 200-metres freestyle and 100 butterfly and Saturday`s 100 free and 200 individual medley.
Phelps, who is also expected to swim Friday`s 200 fly, is working himself into shape for July`s world championships in Shanghai, the last major global showdown before swimmers hit the pool in England next year.
"I have some times that I want to hit in mind," Phelps said. "This is a chance to see where I stand for worlds. That`s the biggest thing, trying to get as prepared as I can and hit all my marks before world championships.”
"If I do that, then I can set up my Olympic trials."
Phelps was third behind world record-holder Lochte in the 200 IM in January at a disappointing meet in Austin, Texas, but has made progress since then.
"I feel like I`m making steps forward," Phelps said. "Over the last couple weeks, couple months, I feel like I`m heading in the right direction. I think there are some small technical things I need to work on.”
"Hopefully I will be able to swim a little faster than I did in Texas."
Phelps, who owns world records in both butterfly events, is excited about the challenge awaiting him from a new generation of rivals in London and Shanghai.
"There are a lot of new people out there," Phelps said. "It`s going to be fun this summer to head over to Shanghai and be able to swim with some new faces."