Lochte sets US Open meet record in 200 IM
EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) Ryan Lochte set a meet record with a time of 1:59.24 in the finals of the men's 200 meter individual medley Sunday at the U.S. Open.
Lochte bested the previous mark of 1:59.26 set by Michael Phelps on Nov. 30, 2006. Xavier Mohammed finished second in 2:00.47, and Sam Stewart was third in 2:01.51.
Lochte, who set the 200 IM world and American record (1:54:00) on July 28, 2011, started well in this race as was in second place at the first turn. After the second turn, the only question was how much Lochte would win by.
The weeklong event at the Nassau County Aquatic Center was Lochte's first USA Swimming-sanctioned meet after a 10-month suspension for his behavior during an incident at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Following a fifth place finish in the 100 backstroke Saturday, Lochte said he viewed the 200 IM as an ''indicator'' of what he needed to work on in order to compete for a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic swim team. He went on to say that he only trained ''once or twice a week'' due to he and fiancee Kayla Rae Reid preparing for the birth of their infant son, Caiden.
Lochte, 33, would turn 36 during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Should he qualify for the team, it would mark Lochte's fifth Games. He represented America in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Of his 12 Olympic medals, three have come in the 200 IM - silvers in 2004 and 2012, and bronze in 2008.
Lochte qualified for the final with a time of 1:56.22 in the preliminaries, nearly three seconds faster than Michael Andrew (1:59.12). Mohammed (1:59.29), John Shebat (1.59.70) and Grant Sanders (2:01.26) rounded out the top five preliminary round finishers.