Ryan Lochte Races in First Individual Swim in 200-Meter Individual Medley

Carla Harmon
August 12, 2016

"We'll have one more time to hop in the pool and duke it out".

Swimming next to teammate and longtime rival Ryan Lochte, Phelps put up an effortless-looking time of 1 minute, 55.78 seconds to claim the prime middle lane in the final. Canada took the bronze in 7:45.39.

Much as Barry Bonds in his prime shattered the statistical norms that governed baseball - his on-base percentage of.609 in 2004 essentially inverted the rate at which the best hitters in the game make outs - Ledecky swims a different race than any of her competitors and has altered the very notion of what is humanly possible in the pool.

"I am really looking forward to it, I can't wait", Bronte said. It might well be the most anticipated race of these Games.

Her tour de force Olympics will conclude later this week with the 800 freestyle, where she is the world-record holder and a prohibitive favorite.

Phelps and Lochte led the US men's relay team to gold in the 4x200 freestyle.

After winning the first set 14-12, Ma rolled through the next three sets by scores of 11-5, 11-4 and 11-4 to win the gold medal in straight sets.

In the women's races, Ledecky, 19, pipped Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom and Australia's Emma McKeon to win the 200 freestyle, on top of her victory in the 400 on Sunday.

Overall for his career, Lochte now has 12 medals. Lochte now holds the top two times in history but Phelps got the best of him at the 2012 Olympics in London and at this year's U.S. Olympic trials.

Victor of three golds already in Rio, Phelps duels longtime friend and rival Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM. Others moving into the final are Jazz Carlin of Britain, American Leah Smith, Lotte Friis of Denmark, and Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain, who won the 200 butterfly Wednesday. But those were mere warmups for the 800 free, an event in which Ledecky is so dominant and so peerless that she almost breaks the sport of swimming. Victor of three golds and five medals overall in London four years ago, she battled depression and didn't qualify for an individual event in Rio.

That will be Ledecky's last swim in what has already been an extraordinary Olympics. If he wins, he'll break another Olympic record by becoming the only swimmer to win four consecutive gold medals in the same individual event.

Lochte has never beaten Phelps in this event on the Olympic stage, but has beaten him elsewhere.

Cyclist Kristin Armstrong fought off rain, a tough Russian challenger and a nose bleed to capture the gold medal in the road cycling individual time trial.

"I've got a clear head, I will respond", he told reporters after qualifying for the Olympic 100 meters butterfly semifinals. "But in this day and age, the 100 freestyle is maybe the most fickle event out there". "I've got a gold and two silvers".

On Tuesday night, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky proved that they are unstoppable in the water.

Yosuhiro Koseki of Japan went out fast and was more than a second under world-record pace at the final turn. He owned it for a decade, right until Chad Le Clos upset him in 2012.

Balandin chased down Yasuhiro Koseki of Japan, who led at the halfway mark and held off a late charge from silver medalist Josh Prenot of the U.S. Prenot finished in 2:07.53, just seven one-hundreths of a second behind Balandin's 2:07.46. Natsumi Hoshi took the bronze in 2:05.20.

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