Michael Phelps easily beat Ryan Lochte in perhaps their final race before the U.S. Olympic trials, but they both wound up trailing hometown favorite Ricky Berens at the Charlotte Grand Prix.
Berens won the 200-meter freestyle Friday night in a relatively slow time of 1 minute, 47.32 seconds. Phelps finished second in 1:48.01, while Lochte was far back in sixth place in 1:49.70.
But results can be deceiving. The swimmers are at different points in their training, and Lochte put himself at a disadvantage before the race even started by going with a brief instead of a jammer suit like the one worn by Phelps.
With Phelps planning to compete in only one more meet before the trials, this could be the last race against his biggest rival until Omaha.