Michael Phelps swims the butterfly in the men's 200-meter individual medley final at the U.S. nationals of swimming, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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Michael Phelps overcame the first hurdle to a potential return to Olympic competition in 2016 when he was named along with exciting teenagers Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin on the U.S. team for the Pan Pacific Championships Sunday.Phelps' qualification for the Aug. 21-24 championships on Australia's Gold Coast has also earned the winner of 18 Olympic gold medals a ticket to next year's world championships in Kazan, Russia.His fellow Olympic champions Allison Schmitt, Natalie Coughlin and Katie Hoff, however, failed to make the team for the Pan Pacific championships in Australia.Phelps, who came out of retirement in May after quitting the sport following the 2012 London Olympics with 22 medals in total, was using the national championships to determine whether he would push through to Rio.Coughlin won the 2004 and 2008 Olympic 100-meter backstroke, Schmitt won five medals in London, including three gold, while Hoff won three medals at 400-meter freestyle and medley and a 200-meter relay in Beijing in 2008 .
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