Lochte Cruises To Win Gold, Beating Phelps In The IM
Filed by KOSU News in US News.
July 28, 2012
Ryan Lochte won the gold medal in the men’s 400-meter individual medley Saturday, beating Michael Phelps and the rest of a talented field at the London 2012 Olympics.
Lochte finished with a time of 4:05:18, beating Brazil’s Thiago Pereira (4:08:86) and Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (4:08:94). Phelps was fourth, at 4:09:28. Lochte sprang to an early lead in the butterfly, and solidified it with his backstroke.
Phelps swam in the pool’s eighth lane, a position resulting from his unimpressive qualifying swim earlier in the day. That was a disadvantage in the race’s final freestyle leg, as Phelps, who breathes to his right, could not easily keep track of the rest of the field.
Many observers had been expecting a 1-2 American finish in this event — the only question, for many, was which of the two would win. Lochte has had a strangle-hold on the 400m individual medley since 2009, while Phelps holds the world record in the event. But in U.S. trials before the Summer Games, Lochte beat Phelps in the same race by nearly a second.
Still, neither American was the top seed coming into the race. The fastest qualifying time was turned in by Japan’s Hagino, who set an Asian continental record at 4:10.01 — more than two seconds quicker than Lochte and three seconds faster than Phelps.
In losing the race, Phelps also lost his bid to become the first three-peat winner of an Olympic swimming event. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]