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Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 07:28 UK

Phelps defeated twice on return

Michael Phelps
Phelps was reasonably satisfied with his showing in North Carolina

Olympic superstar Michael Phelps suffered two defeats on his return to competition after a three-month ban - but also picked up two gold medals.

Phelps was beaten by Freddie Bousquet in Sunday's 100m freestyle - the final event at the meet in North Carolina.

He also finished second behind Aaron Peirsol in Saturday's 100m backstroke.

But the 23-year-old American, banned after being pictured apparently smoking cannabis, had already won both the 200m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

"I'm not disappointed with my times, but my finishes were awful," said Phelps, who swam in five events at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in North Carolina.

"There are small things I need to work on but overall it was a pretty good meet.

"I didn't expect some of these times, but I'm back on track and from here I head to (the US Olympic training centre at) Colorado Springs for three weeks. I'm looking forward to that."

BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

Phelps suffered his first defeat in a final in almost a year on Saturday as world record holder Peirsol - the last person to beat Phelps - romped home in the 100m backstroke.

"I don't like to lose and Aaron has the upper hand in our races right now," said Phelps, who pulled out of the 50m freestyle final to concentrate on the 100m backstroke, one of the new events he is looking to swim at the 2012 Olympics in London.

"We've have had our battles back and forth and that's the fun part about racing him. He's a racer, a competitor and someone I like to race."

Phelps was beaten again on Sunday, coming home behind Frenchman Bousquet, who clocked a meet record 48.22 seconds to win the 100m freestyle.

Michael Phelps

Phelps 'excited' to be back in the pool

But he had clocked a time of one minute 46.02 seconds to win the 200m freestyle final on Friday, just over three seconds slower than the world record he set in Beijing, and then blitzed the field to win the 100m butterfly by more than a second in a time of 51.72 seconds.

Phelps is focusing on the shorter distances as he looks to the 2012 Olympics in London.

After winning eight golds in Beijing, he has decided to drop the 400m individual medley and the 200m butterfly.

He will continue to swim the 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle, and has added the 50m and 100m freestyle events to his repertoire, as well as the 100m backstroke.

Phelps will now focus on the US Championships in July, which act as trials for the World Championships in Rome later that month.

Phelps said of his ban: "I made a stupid mistake and it's something I will learn from. Your guard always has to be up.

"Wherever I go I am aware of everything around. I am always looking to see who is around me, no matter who they are. If I'm not comfortable, I leave."

see also
Phelps ready to return to action
06 May 09 |  Swimming
Phelps sets sights on London 2012
13 Mar 09 |  Olympics
Phelps accepts 'fair' punishment
06 Feb 09 |  Olympics
IOC backs Phelps over 'pot pipe'
02 Feb 09 |  Americas

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