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SHANGHAI, China, July 31. RYAN Lochte led a United States 1-2 in the men's 400 IM with a convincing victory in the distance medley at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Lochte clocked a time of 4:07.13, off the textile best of 4:06.22 turned in by Michael Phelps at the 2007 World Championships. Lochte also came up short of his attempt to clear his lifetime best of 4:06.08. The win did, however, give him a title defense to become the first man to accomplish the feat since Tom Dolan won back-to-back gold in 1994 and 1998. The win gave Lochte his fifth gold medal of the meet, along with a bronze from the men's 400 free relay.
Lochte is just the fourth man to win at least five gold medals in a single world championship meet. Phelps holds the single-meet record with an incredible seven golds at the 2007 World Championships. That was the set-up meet for Phelps' historic eight-for-eight performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"I'm so glad this meet is over," Lochte said. "It has been a long, long eight days. For the most part, I'm not really happy. I mean, it's definitely great to have won five golds, but I know I can go a lot faster."
USA's Tyler Clary defended his silver medal from 2009 with a 4:11.17.
"This is my second world championships," Clary said. "Technically, I'm a better swimmer and am more confident. I'll be working on being ready for next summer."
Meanwhile, Japan's Yuya Horihata earned bronze in 4:11.98.
"I'm really happy," Horihata said. "I think I was kind of lucky this time. I'm glad to show my strength to the world as a Japanese swimmer. I just held on to the end, and never gave up. I told myself to fight until the last moment."
China's Huang Chaosheng (4:13.62), Greece's Ioannis Drymonakos (4:14.62), Hungary's David Verraszto (4:15.67), China's Xiang Wang Cheng (4:15.89) and Great Britain's Roberto Pavoni (4:19.85) completed the championship heat.