Published June 27, 2012
The second showdown between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps came in the 200m freestyle on Wednesday night, and it came down to the wire: A thrilling finish saw Phelps just edge Lochte to the wall by five-hundreths of a second.
The swimmers were all more or less neck-and-neck through 50 meters, with Phelps holding a slight lead on Lochte and Lochte holding a slight lead on the field. Phelps kept increasing his lead through the halfway mark, but Lochte burst off the wall after the 100-meter turn and caught Phelps. The final 50 was a free-for-all, but Phelps and Lochte emerged from the pack and Phelps beat Lochte to the touch by .05 seconds. The 1-2 finish qualifies both swimmers for their second event in London.
Phelps and Lochte were pretty much predetermined to battle it out in the 200m free. Phelps won the last two gold medals, but the semifinals for the event saw Lochte just out-touch Phelps at the wall, beating him by .02 seconds to earn the No. 1 spot in the final race. No offense to the other 200 or so countries in the world, but we'll likely see these same two swimmers competing for the gold and silver medals in London a month from now.
If you missed it, don't worry -- Phelps and Lochte have many more head-to-head battles coming, both at the trials in Omaha, Neb., and at the Olympics in London. For those of you keeping track, the two are tied 1-1 after Lochte beat Phelps in the 400m IM.
Here are the full results of the men's 200m free final:
Stay with our StoryStream for the latest from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming in Omaha as Team USA is decided.