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SHANGHAI, China, July 29. RYAN Lochte has been unstoppable at the FINA World Long Course Championships this year, and the men's 200 back was no different as he captured the title going away with a textile best.
Lochte served up a winning time of 1:52.96 to better the 1:54.08 clocked by Ryosuke Irie in April of this year as the best time in textile. The victory gave Lochte his 10th world long course title, and 16th career medal in world championship competition. Lochte also bettered his previous best in the event of 1:53.82 from the 2009 World Championships, but fell short of becoming the second fastest all time in the event behind Aaron Peirsol (1:51.92) and Irie (1:52.51).
Irie, meanwhile, turned in a 1:54.11 for second place to defend his silver medal from the 2009 championships.
"That was a tough swim tonight," Irie said. "But, I really enjoyed that race very much."
Meanwhile, USA's Tyler Clary picked up bronze in 1:54.69 to add to his silver from the men's 400 IM in 2009.
"I won the bronze medal, but that's not what I had expected," Clary said. "I feel a bit disappointed."
Lochte dominated, as has been his trademark, off the walls. He gained significant ground on both Irie and Clary at every turn, making the final lap a coronation. All that remained in doubt was the time and whether Lochte would take the textile-best time by the 1:53 range and into the 1:52 realm. It wasn't a problem.
China's Zhang Fenglin (1:56.39), Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki (1:57.33), Russia's Stanislav Donets (1:57.36), Italy's Sebastiano Ranfagni (1:57.49) and Japan's Kazuki Watanabe (1:57.82) also vied for the world title.