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Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps in the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. National Championships on Sunday in Irvine, California.
The Associated Press reported that the win for Lochte leaves Phelps winless in four races at the five-day meet. However, he did enough to qualify and compete in the upcoming Pan Pacific Championships.
The two rivals had comeback stories that were the talk of the Phillips 66 National Championships.
The 30-year-old Lochte is coming off of knee surgery he had earlier this year and Phelps announced in April that he was coming out of retirement.
Phelps’ announcement led many to speculate that the 29-year-old would compete in the 2016 Rio Games. His coach, Bobby Bowman, previously said that he and the gold medalist would assess his chances of qualifying for the Olympics after this week’s national championships concluded.
The Orange County Register noted that Lochte’s time of 1-minute, 56.50 seconds ranks No. 2 in the world this year behind Japan’s Kosuke Hagino’s time of 1:55.38. Phelps ranks third with a time of 1:56.55.
Phelps is the most-decorated Olympian of all time and, if he competes in the 2016 Summer Games, will be looking to add more medals to the 22 he already has.
image courtesy of Kristin Callahan/ACE/INFphoto.com