Phelps holds off Lochte in 200m medley

Jul 02, 2012, 08:13 IST | AFP

Two-time defending Olympic champion Michael Phelps held off Ryan Lochte to win the 200m medley at the US swimming trials on Saturday, setting up another duel in the London Games pool

It was another thriller between 14-time Olympic gold medallist Phelps and the man who has emerged as his greatest rival.

Phelps, celebrating his 27th birthday, led by a narrow margin at every turn, but the two swam stroke-for-stroke on the final freestyle lap with Phelps gaining the victory in 1min 54.84sec.

Michael Phelps. Pic/AFP

World record-holder Lochte was second in 1:54.93, showing no sign of fatigue half an hour after he secured a berth to defend the 200m backstroke gold he won in Beijing.

In the backstroke, Lochte shrugged off a sluggish start, powering off the last turn and overtaking Tyler Clary to win in 1:54.54.

Clary was second in 1:54.88. Only Japan’s Ryosuke Irie has gone faster than the two Americans this year. Jessica Hardywon in the 100m freestyle in 53.96sec.

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