Athens, Georgia: Michael Phelps won the 100-metre backstroke on Saturday at the Bulldog Grand Slam, edging Ryan Lochte in another encouraging performance in his comeback.
Phelps, who retired after the 2012 London Olympics and stayed away from the pool for more than a year, finished in 53.88 seconds. Lochte was second at 54.40, and Olympian Tyler Clary finished third in 55.41.
"I just wanted to break 54, to be honest," said Phelps, the winner of 18 golds and 22 medals overall - far more than any other Olympic athlete. "My best time is 53.01 from 2007 and it's something I haven't swam that that many times. I wanted to take it out a little faster and be as close to an even split as I could, but towards the end it hurt a lot. To be 53.88 now, I'm very pleased."