Lochte Cruises To Win Gold, Beating Phelps In The 400 IM | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Lochte Cruises To Win Gold, Beating Phelps In The 400 IM

Play associated audio

Ryan Lochte won the gold medal in the men's 400-meter individual medley Saturday, beating Michael Phelps and the rest of a talented field at the London 2012 Olympics.

Lochte finished with a time of 4:05.18, beating Brazil's Thiago Pereira (4:08.86) and Japan's Kosuke Hagino (4:08.94). Phelps was fourth, at 4:09.28. Lochte sprang to an early lead in the butterfly, and solidified it with his backstroke.

The victory wasn't a surprise to Lochte, who said that he knew he was in good shape coming into the London Games. Still, the win seemed to take a while to sink in.

"I think I'm kind of in shock right now," he said after the race. But he soon seemed to be completely recovered — and showing the personality he's known for. According to the AP:

"About a half-hour after the race, the laid-back Floridian returned to the medal podium to receive the fourth gold medal of his career. Wearing diamond-studded grillz in his mouth and lime-green sneakers on the feet that powered him through the water faster than anyone else, Lochte strolled around the deck kissing his medal while Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA' played over the
loudspeaker."

After accepting his medal, Lochte invited Pereira and Hagino onto the podium's top step along with him. There, the three grinned and posed for photographers, biting their medals.

During the race, Phelps swam in the pool's eighth lane, a position resulting from his unimpressive qualifying swim earlier in the day. That was a disadvantage in the race's final freestyle leg, as Phelps, who breathes to his right, could not easily keep track of the rest of the field.

But Phelps refused to blame the lane for his fourth-place finish — one of his rare Olympic events that hasn't ended with him on the podium.

"It was just a crappy race," he said. "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."

NPR's Howard Berkes passes along this quote from Phelps: "I was trying to find a gear I couldn't find. It was a frustrating finish... but I am getting faster and I've got a bunch of other races to come. I hope to finish better than I started."

Many observers had been expecting a 1-2 American finish in this race — the only question, for many, was which of the two would win. Lochte has had a strangle-hold on the 400m individual medley since 2009, while Phelps holds the world record in the event. But in U.S. trials before the Summer Games, Lochte beat Phelps in the same race by nearly a second.

Still, neither American was the top seed coming into the race. The fastest qualifying time was turned in by Japan's Hagino, who set an Asian continental record at 4:10.01 — more than two seconds quicker than Lochte and three seconds faster than Phelps. He improved on that time in the final.

In losing the race, Phelps also lost his bid to become the first three-peat winner of the same Olympic swimming event.

"I know he gave it everything he had," Lochte said of Phelps. "I'm going to go talk to him in the dressing room."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Single-Named Singers From The Present And Past

Every answer is the name of a famous, one-named singer like Madonna or Beyoncé. Identify each one from its anagram, to which one extra letter is added. The singers are a mix of past and present.
NPR

How Dangerous Is Powdered Alcohol?

Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
NPR

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

The Senate worked late into the night but was not able to figure out what to do about expiring provisions in the Patriot Act that authorize the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.
NPR

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

The Living Heart Project aims to create a detailed simulation of the human heart that doctors and engineers can use to test experimental treatments and interventions.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.