IRVINE, Calif. – Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps to win the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. national swimming championships Sunday night, leaving Phelps winless in four races at his biggest meet since coming out of retirement.
Lochte, the world champion, led all the way and touched in 1 minute, 56.50 seconds Sunday night. He is coming off major knee surgery.
“This year has been up and down, but I’m glad I got a win knowing that I really haven’t done the work I wanted to,” he said.
Phelps, the three-time Olympic champion in the event, chased Lochte throughout and pulled into the wall second in 1:56.55. Lochte’s time was second-fastest in the world this year; Phelps’ was third-quickest.
It was Lochte’s first victory of the five-day meet after finishing second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 200 backstroke.