When Michael Phelps and the American 4x100-meter freestyle relay team finished a surprising third on Sunday at the world championships, the 14-time gold medalist was pragmatic about the disappointment.
"It's a good thing that it's not the Olympics," said Phelps. "We have time to prepare and get ready and change some things."
It's a mantra Phelps will be repeating to himself a lot in the upcoming 36 months. For the second time at this week's world championships in Shanghai, Phelps was upset by American teammate Ryan Lochte, this time in a thrilling 200 IM race Thursday night that saw Lochte set the first world record of the meet. If Lochte's win earlier this meet in the 200 free was a shot at Phelps' dominance in the sport, this was the decisive blow.