COLUMBIA – Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in addition to other members of the USA Swimming National Team will compete at the Missouri Grand Prix, Feb. 12-15 in Columbia.
Phelps won a record eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The meet will take place at the Mizzou Aquatic Center, and is the third stop of the eight-meet USA Swimming Grand Prix Series that awards the overall winner a $20,000 grand prize, according to a news release by USA Swimming.
A total of 15 U.S. National Team swimmers are entered in the meet, including 2008 Olympians Eric Shanteau (Lilburn, Ga.), Garrett Weber-Gale (Milwaukee, Wis.), Chloe Sutton (Mission Viejo, Calif.), as well as swimmers Amanda Weir (Lawrenceville, Ga.), Erika Erndl (Naples, Fla.), Nick Thoman (Cincinnati, Ohio), Felicia Lee (Wayne, N.J.), Elizabeth Pelton (Ruxton, Md.), Deni Cullom (Dana Point, Calif.), Keri Hehn (Fargo, N.D.), Matthew Lowe (Minot, N.D.), David Russell (Wellesley, Mass.) and Patrick Schirk (Pottstown, Pa.).
The meet will also feature a strong field of international competitors such as Japanese Olympic gold medalist Kosuke Kitajima, Tunisia’s Olympic gold medalist Ous Mellouli, Austria’s Marcus Rogan, Brazil’s Thiago Pereira and Great Britain’s Simon Burnett. Other countries represented in Columbia, include Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Lithuania.
The Grand Prix Series lets swimmers to race against some of the best competition in the world, as they continue their preparation for the 2010 ConocoPhillips National Championships and the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships, both of which will take place in Irvine, Calif. Other stops in the Grand Prix series include: Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Santa Clara, Calif.; and Los Angeles.
Tickets for the Missouri Grand Prix are $10 per prelim session and $15 per finals session. An all-session pass is available for $60. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The complete competition schedule can be found here.