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Phelps not to compete in USA vs European All-Star duel


16:40, November 04, 2011

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. phenom Michael Phelps will not compete in the duel between the United States and a European All-Star squad next month at the venue used for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Phelps, who won an unprecedented eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after taking six golds at the 2004 Athens Games, has decided to skip the event to focus on his preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.

Despite the absence of Phelps, Olympic champions Ryan Lochte, Natalie Coughlin, Brendan Hansen, Dana Vollmer, Rebecca Soni and Amanda Beard were among 36 competitors named by USA Swimming for the December 16-17 event.

Lochte won five titles at this year's world championships in Shanghai, including head-to-head triumphs over Phelps.

Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Beisel, who each won a world title in China, also were named to the squad.

The European all-star lineup will include swimmers from Britain, Denmark, Poland, Belarus, Austria, Lithuania and the Netherlands.

This will be the fifth edition of the biennial short-course event, with American squads 4-0, taking victories over Australia in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and a European all-star team in 2009.

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