The races were tight, the finishes competitive. But the times were off.
For the male swimmers at the Arena Pro Swim Series last week, the meet raised concerns. Mostly that, in most of their individual events, their times were not close to the best times in the world this year.
Even 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, for example, who won two events (100 butterfly and 100 freestyle) in his return from his six-month suspension, did not crack the top 20 in the world with his times in either event. He wasn’t alone; event finals across the board were won with times significantly slower than what the best in the world has posted this year.
On the women’s side, that wasn’t true, due in large part to Katie Ledecky and her penchant for breaking or threatening to break her own world records. But the lagging men’s times were eye-opening, and they go beyond this specific meet.
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