Ryan Lochte thinks his rival Michael Phelps will come back to swimming and compete in Rio, reports The Telegraph.
Phelps officially announced his retirement at the end of the London Games and has remained steadfast about the decision when asked. The 27-year-old swimmer became the most decorated Olympian of all-time with 22 total medals (18 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze).
But at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul, Lochte told reporters he thought Phelps would come back for the 2016 Games:
"Michael Phelps says he's retired. The sport will miss him, he is one of my favourite rivals and I will miss him. But I think he will come back," he said. "When you do something for so long every day ... he's still young. I think he will be back for Rio."
Lochte himself has 11 medals total (5 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze), including five at the London Games. He pulled an upset over Phelps when he won the 400 meter IM on swimming's opening night.