Michael Phelps, aiming to add to his tally of 18 Olympic gold medals at the Rio Games, was beaten again on Saturday at an invitational swimming meet in Austin, Texas.
The 30-year-old US superstar came straight from hard training into the tuneup meet for the Olympic trials in Omaha this month.
He finished fourth in the 200m freestyle won by Townley Haas in one minute, 47.86 seconds, with Phelps clocking one minute, 48.73 seconds.
The setback came a day after Phelps won the 100m freestyle and finished second to Singapore’s Joseph Schooling in the 100m butterfly.
The meeting is one of three elite events this weekend where US swimmers are warming up for the demands of trials, and overseas competitors are prepping for the Rio Olympics themselves.
In other Austin action, American Chase Kalisz posted the third-fastest time in the world this year in the 400m individual medley, winning in 4:11.51.
Allison Schmitt defeated Missy Franklin for the second straight night, triumphing in the 200m free in 1:56.87 to Franklin’s 1:57.78.
Franklin won the 200m backstroke in 2:09.45.
At the Indianapolis Pro Swim, American David Plummer notched the fastest time in the world this year in the 100m backstroke, winning in a sizzling 52.40 seconds.
“We’ve been working a ton on holding tempo, trying to get that speed up to where it needs to be and just holding it right at the quickest tempo I can hold,” Plummer said. “I feel like it’s really starting to come around.”
At the Pro Swim in Santa Clara, California, Emma McKeon won the women’s 50m freestyle in 24.85, leading an Australian one-two finish ahead of Brittany Elmslie.
Aussie Emily Seebohm won the 100m backstroke in 58.96.
China’s Sun Yang, who won the men’s 200m free on Friday with the fastest time in the world this year, topped the qualifying times for the 400m free on Saturday in 3:43.55 -- second best of 2016 behind the 3:41.65 of Mack Horton at the Australian Olympic trials in April.
Sun scratched the final, which was won by American Conor Dwyer in 3:46.09.