The Huffington Post reports that Lochte completed the race with a time of 4:05:18, a challenge to the world record, snagging the United States’ first gold medal in London so far. Brazil’s Thiago Pereira won the silver medal, while Japan’s Kosuke Hagino captured bronze.
Lochte’s time in the 400 IM is only second to Michael Phelps’ time of 4:03:84, set in 2008. Following the race, Lochte told reporters:
“I think I’m kind of in shock right now.”
Newsday notes that, while Michael Phelps was not going to match his eight medal record from Beijing in 2008, he was expected to at least medal in the men’s 400 IM. Unfortunately, as Phelps put it, it was “just a crappy race.” Speaking to reporters afterwards, the 27-year-old Olympian stated:
“I felt fine the first 200, then I don’t know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That’s why they’re on the medal stand.”
Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps are friendly rivals, and will meet each other one more time while in the 200 meter individual relay. When asked about Phelps’ performance, Lochte stated, “I know he gave it everything he had. That’s all you can ask for.”
For Phelps, however, who was hoping to be the first male swimmer to win the same individual event in three straight Olympics, the 400 IM was not it. Instead, he will have the chance to try again with the 200 IM, as well as the 100 and 20 butterfly, which he won at Athens and Beijing.
Were you excited to see Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps in the 400 IM? Are you excited to see the two go head-to-head in the 200 individual medley?