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LONDON, England, July 28. RYAN Lochte dropped the hammer in the men's 400 IM at the 2012 London Olympics, closing the door by the largest margin of victory ever in the event's history.
Lochte blasted a time of 4:05.18, the second fastest time ever behind only Michael Phelps' world record of 4:03.84 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The win bettered his previous lifetime best of 4:06.08, and cleared Phelps' textile best of 4:06.22. The performance also is the best in textile at the Olympics by far, well ahead of Phelps' 4:08.26 from 2004. Additionally, Lochte's 3.68-second triumph over Brazil's Thiago Pereira (4:08.86) is the largest margin of victory in the event's history at the Olympics. Phelps held the previous record with a 3.55-second triumph over Erik Vendt in 2004, 4:08.26 to 4:11.81.
Pereira, meanwhile, matched his South American record with his 4:08.86, with him still standing fifth all time in the event's history. He is the first Brazilian since Ricardo Prado in 1984 (4:18.45) to earn silver in the event.
Japan's Kosuke Hagino smashed his Asian record of 4:10.01 from prelims with a 4:08.94 as he held Phelps from the podium (4:09.28). Hagino is the first man from Japan to ever medal in the event's history. He remained seventh fastest ever in the event's history.
Phelps witnessed his first attempt at becoming the first man to ever threepeat an Olympic event come up short. He still has other chances, but now Kosuke Kitajima might beat him to the record in the men's 100 breast.
South Africa's Chad Le Clos (4:12.42), Japan's Yuya Horihata (4:13.30), Australia's Thomas Fraser-Holmes (4:13.49) and Italy's Luca Marin (4:14.89) rounded out the historic finale.
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