Athletics

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Michael Phelps will come out of retirement for bizarre one-off race

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It seems to be an action-packed second-half of 2017 with Superhero blockbuster movie releases, Conor McGregor taking on Floyd Mayweather and India versus Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy final.

In the midst of all this high-octane action, the Discovery Channel have pledged to wow fans from around the world with this statement: "the world's most decorated athlete takes on the ocean's most efficient predator."

That’s right. Michael Phelps, who retired after Rio 2016 on the back of a hugely successful career during which he accumulated a whopping 23 Olympic gold medals will indeed be coming up against a great white shark in a contest that’s worthy of a blockbuster film.

It has been dubbed: "Phelps v Shark: Great Gold v Great White" and which will form a part of the channel’s "Shark Week."

It would seem as though the American would be at a slight disadvantage against his new rival. His top speed of 6 miles per hour dwarfs in comparison to the great white’s 25 mph.

Phelps has so far only come face to face with his adversary through the bars of a commanding cage. Although vilified in Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws,” Phelps would be delighted to know that great white attacks are in fact extremely rare and that his only concern will be figuring out how to outswim his counterpart who may or may not take a nibble at his feet.

The exact details of the event remain a mystery to the public, including what form it will take, with Tooni Mahto from the Australian Marine Conservation Society saying that “It’s (the form) is anyone’s guess.”

She was sceptical of Phelps’ chances when she reportedly told BBC Radio 5 live: "It is a forgone conclusion as to who is going to come out on top."

She added: "We can all be fairly certain it's not going to be Michael Phelps versus a great white shark in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

"I'm assuming it's going to be looking at the human body in water compared to a creature that's evolved over millions of years and is perfectly adapted to its marine environment."

TOPSHOT-SWIMMING-OLY-2016-RIO

One thing is for certain: such a match up will draw eyes to the screen on a day that promises to be thrilling and Michael Phelps will need to double his efforts in retirement if he is to scratch the surface of the great white’s legacy.

Do you think Michael Phelps stands a chance? Have your say in the comments section below.

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Topics:
Team USA Olympics
Usain Bolt
Commonwealth Games
Athletics

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