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Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly Friday night in Charlotte and for the first time since his victory at the 2012 London Olympics, stood at the top of the podium.
The Associated Press noted that Phelps touched the wall in 52.13 seconds for the victory, matching the exact time he finished with in Mesa, Arizona. Pavel Sankovich came in behind him.
Rival Ryan Lochte did not compete in the event at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte, North Carolina. Instead he was advised by doctors to give his surgically repaired knee a rest.
Phelps was runner-up to Lochte, who finished with a time of 51.93 seconds last month at the Skyline Aquatic Center.
The 28-year-old announced in April that he was officially coming out of retirement, leading many to believe that he will compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Phelps has not said whether or not he will compete, however, as Sports Illustrated pointed out, his orange swim cap had “Rio 2016″ printed on the side. He also re-entered his name into the international drug-testing pool.
If the most-decorated Olympian of all time does compete, it will be interesting to see how many more medals he can add to his total.