Men’s 200 IM medal ceremony
LONDON, England, August 2. IN what is likely the final Phelpte battle ever, should Michael Phelps follow through on his promise to retire from the sport for good after this meet, Phelps became the first man ever to win an event in three straight Olympics with a touch-out triumph over Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM.Phelps also won his astounding 20th career Olympic medal, 16 of the gold variety. With his 19th medal in the 800 free relay, he became the most decorate Olympic athlete ever.
Phelps went out strong to the 150, and held on for dear life as Lochte surged down the final 50 for a 1:54.27 to 1:54.90 victory. The swim finished just off Phelps’ Olympic record of 1:54.32, but gave him his third straight conquest in the event. He won over Lochte in 2004, over Laszlo Cseh in 2008 and now over Lochte again in 2012. With the win, he became the first man to ever post a threepeat in Olympic swimming competition. Previously, only Dawn Fraser and Krisztina Egerszegi had done so on the women’s side.
Lochte’s 1:54.90, about a second off his world record of 1:54.00 from the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, produced Lochte’s 11th career Olympic medal. He now stands tied with Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi on the all time list as the second-most among men behind Phelps. Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres and Natalie Coughlin are the all time leading females with 12 career Olympic medals each.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh wound up with bronze in the event with a 1:56.22. He has an impressive five-medal haul himself in his career, but has yet to pick up gold with Phelps and Lochte always ahead of him.
Brazil’s Thiago Pereira (1:56.74), Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (1:57.35), Japan’s Ken Takakuwa (1:58.53), Great Britain’s James Goddard (1:59.05) and Germany’s Markus Deibler (1:59.10) were a part of the historic finale. Deibler made the finale with a scratch from South Africa’s Chad le Clos.
LONDON, England, August 1. RYAN Lochte completed a successful double, advancing in both the 200 back and 200 IM tonight, including taking the top seed in the men’s 200-meter IM at the 2012 London Olympics.Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who has won three silver medals behind Phelps, all at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is working to break through that glass ceiling. He qualified second in 1:56.74, just off his silver-winning time of 1:56.52 from 2008. If he can pull off the upset, he would join Tamas Darnyi and Attila Czene as Hungarians to win the title.
In semifinal one, with Michael Phelps in the same heat, Lochte turned in a 1:56.13. That swim cleared Phelps’ Olympic textile best of 1:57.14 set at the 2004 Athens Olympics, putting Phelps’ overall Olympic record (1:54.32) next on the list. Lochte qualified second in the 200 back earlier in the evening as he looks to add to his overall medal haul of nine in his career.
Phelps posted a third-seeded time of 1:57.11, and is now in the first-man-to-threepeat slot after Kosuke Kitajima missed the podium in the men’s 200 breaststroker earlier tonight. Phelps, who already became the most decorated Olympian of all time with his 19th medal last night, has one more unprecedented goal to attain — a male threepeat. Only Dawn Fraser and Krisztina Egerszegi have won three straight gold medals in a single event. No male has done so.
Brazil’s Thiago Pereira (1:57.45), Japan’s Kosuke Hagino (1:57.95), Japan’s Ken Takakuwa (1:58.31), Great Britain’s James Goddard (1:58.49) and South Africa’s Chad le Clos (1:58.49) all earned spots in the championship finale.
LONDON, England, August 1. HUNGARY’s Laszlo Cseh led the way in the men’s 200-meter IM qualifying heats at the 2012 London Olympics.
Cseh was the only swimmer to break 1:58 with a leading time of 1:57.20. That effort nearly eclipsed the Olympic textile best of 1:57.14 posted by Michael Phelps to win the event in 2004. Cseh is the defending silver medalist, and is looking to breakthrough with his first Olympic gold medal. He has a healthy Olympic career haul with four medals to his name, but he has yet to ascend to the top of the podium. He won silver in three events in Beijing behind Michael Phelps, and took bronze in the 400 IM in 2004.
USA’s Ryan Lochte completed a difficult double after qualifying in the 200 back as well. He posted a 1:58.03 in the event. Lochte is the defending bronze medalist, and currently has nine Olympic medals on his resume. He won silver in this event in 2004 as well, and will be looking for his first gold in the event.
“All that celebrating takes a lot of energy out of you, but we’re used to it [after winning the 800 free relay],” Lochte said. “I just wanted to step up this morning and get a lane and go through. I just went real smooth. All I wanted to do was to get a lane for the semifinals. The double is going to be tough but I’ve done the training so I feel good.”
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, who bumped Michael Phelps off the podium with a bronze-winning effort in the 400 IM, is looking for more hardware after qualifying third in 1:58.22. Japan has never medaled in this event since it first began being offered in 1968.
“When I went into the water I felt my body was a bit heavy, and the water was very cold, so I got worried,” Hagino said. “But my time was ok. I want to perform well in the semifinal as well.”
Phelps, meanwhile, will hope the third time is the charm as he looks for the elusive threepeat. He qualified fourth in 1:58.24. He missed out on defending his 200 fly and 400 IM titles earlier in the meet, but has a chance to accomplish the Olympic treble in this event. Only Dawn Fraser and Krisztina Egerszegi have won three straight titles in the Olympics.
Last night, Phelps became the all-time most decorated Olympic athlete with his 19th medal as part of the gold-medal winning 800 freestyle relay. He’s looking to add to that tally.
“There was this like madness [after winning his 19th medal],” Phelps said. “I wanted to thank all the people who sent some tweets, [President Barack] Obama and Piquet (Gerard, the Barcelona football player), a bunch of different athletes from all over the world. It was pretty cool. I did not really get much sleep last night. I did not warm down at all. I must have left the dining hall at 11.30, got back to my room probably about 12. I do not really know what time I fell asleep.”
Brazill’s Thiago Pereira (1:58.31), Great Britain’s James Goddard (1:58.56), Germany’s Markus Deibler (1:58.61) and Austria’s Markus Rogan (1:58.66) rounded out the top eight.
Japan’s Ken Takakuwa (1:58.82), Brazil’s Henrique Rodrigues (1:59.37), South Africa’s Chad le Clos (1:59.45), Israel’s Gal Nevo (1:59.56), Australia’s Daniel Tranter (1:59.70), Lithuania’s Vytautas Janusaitis (1:59.84), Great Britain’s Joe Roebuck (2:00.04) and Canada’s Andrew Ford (2:00.28) also earned spots in the semifinal heats.
By John Lohn
GILLETTE, New Jersey, May 14. AS we creep closer to the Olympic Games in London this summer, Swimming World will produce event-by-event previews of the action set to unfold. As part of this series, we’ll not only look at the leading contenders in each event, we’ll also provide a historical perspective on each discipline. This approach was successful in the leadup to the Beijing Games and we hope our readership enjoys the coverage for this Olympiad.