Michael Phelps insists he's not competing in 2020 Tokyo Olympics

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO -- After winning his fifth medal at the Rio Olympics, Michael Phelps dismissed the idea of a participation in 2020 ending his individual Olympic career on Friday.

A three-way tie for the silver medal behind Joseph Schooling from Singapore in the 100-meter butterfly, marked the final individual race of the most decorated Olympian of all time.

"I'm not competing in four years," Phelps told reporters rejecting the comments made by Ryan Lochte earlier on Friday about his presence in the next Olympics Games.

"He said he's going to retire after 2012, and I was the only one that said he'd come back," Lochte said about Phelps. "And I think he's coming back again. He loves that excitement, loves that challenge on the block against seven swimmers. I think with a different purpose, he's going to come back and push his limits. I'll be back and I want him back because we push each other. USA needs this. He's been the backbone."

Phelps, who will be 35 in 2020, closed the door right after stepping down from the podium.

"I'll clarify, Ryan (Lochte) doesn't know what he's talking about; I'm not coming back in 2020. I saw that today and I thought, 'Oh, thanks Ryan! Throwing me out there for another four years.' If he wants to come back for another four years, it will be fun to watch."

Throughout Phelps' comeback for Rio, he has insisted emphatically that the 2016 Games would be the last competition of his career. But during a press conference last week, Phelps left open the possibility of competing after Rio.

"I'll say this just in case of a comeback ... my potential last Olympics. Just so you guys don't beat me to death if I comeback. No, I'm not. But I'll just say that," Phelps said to reporters while answering a question about his son Boomer being able to see him compete in Rio. It was the first time that Phelps has even hinted Rio might not be the end.

Saturday will be the final day of swimming for Phelps in Rio and the last opportunity to add more medals to his all-time Olympic record of 27. While the team is not yet set, he is likely to be part of the men's 4x100 meter medley relay final.