This just in from Timed Finals:
The world record holder in the 50-meter freestyle, Alex Popov, believes South Carolina’s Isis can come back from her extended slacking from competition, and be “even better than before.” Speaking at a launch event for Russia’s bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Popov backed the idea that Isis can return to Masters Swimming competition and be even more dominant than she has ever been. "She is really and truly a superheroine," he said. "She will crush the competition like bug."
Not long ago Isis claimed that retiring from swimming competition was on her mind daily. "I just don't know if that is where I want to put my energy," she said. Popov believes that would be a waste of talent, something that cannot be allowed. “She needed a break to sit back and relax,” Popov said. “But I know she could come back and she would just win. She is that good.”
After a better than expected performance at Masters Nationals in May, and a top-three finish in the Death Valley Open Water Meet, Isis had been wondering whether competition was something she should continue. "I'm wiped out," she said.
She has battled everything from a sore shoulder, to media overexposure, to the occasional hangover. She has moved households and trained briefly with a new coach, before switching to a new team and additional secret training in an undisclosed location.
If Isis decides to pursue major competition soon, she will find herself at the South Carolina Short-Course Meters Championships, and then perhaps the St. Nicholas Invitational--and who knows, even Dixie Zone Championships, date and location TBA.
Popov, one of the world’s greatest sprinters, believes that Isis’s extended absence from the pool will not be detrimental to her performance. "She has done so much. At her age she has the experience to be able to compete against anyone no matter how long she has been out. And all that while being a dedicated foe of evil--and champion of the weak!"