In individual sports, there’s nothing better than a grudge match, a rivalry. That’s what these World Championships in Shanghai are creating for us. Advantage? Ryan Lochte. The 26 year old, three time gold Olympic Gold Medalist has taken over Phelps’ Medley and freestyle domination since 2009 and has now beaten the greatest of them all for two gold medals in Shanghai.
He beat Phelps by 0.35 seconds two days ago in the 200 freestyle. He did it again today, torching the pool with an incredible 1:54.00, a new world record, POST-SUIT Era. Phelps was able to hold a small lead after the 50 fly, but Lochte’s backstroke leg put him ahead by 0.19 seconds. It was clear that the key will be the breaststroke, and Phelps wasn’t able to cover the distance between him and Lochte. The final 50? Lochte did lose some steam and Phelps needed about 10-15 more meters to win the race, but pools are only 50 meters. He finished with a 1:54.16. Incredible, but not enough.
It’s a Ryan Lochte era, putting himself on top of the swimming world that isn’t about the “sprinters“, above Michael Phelps. They’re both 26, but it seems that Lochte is fresher, more durable. The great goal for both of them are the London Olympics, and in the medley, both are in a sphere of their own, untouched. Right now, Ryan Lochte is the better man.