• Rio 2016

Lochte tips Phelps for Rio comeback

ESPN staff
December 11, 2012
Michael Phelps has been enjoying life since his retirement from swimming © PA Photos

Ryan Lochte believes his great rival Michael Phelps will come out of retirement to race at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016

Phelps called time on his glittering career after taking his Olympic medal haul to 22 at London 2012.

The American claimed there would be no prospect of a change of heart, but his great rival and friend Lochte feels Phelps may find the lure of competition too difficult to resist.

"Michael Phelps says he's retired," Lochte said ahead of the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul. "The sport will miss him, he is one of my favourite rivals and I will miss him.

"But I think he will come back. When you do something for so long every day … he's still young. I think he will be back for Rio.We'll see, he'll miss the sport."

Australia great Ian Thorpe found it impossible to bridge the gap from retirement to a return to the top of the sport, but Lochte does not feel it would be a problem for Phelps.

"He has a lot of talent, he has taken months off before and still come back," Lochte said. "I don't think it has an effect on him."

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