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SHANGHAI, China, July 27. RYAN Lochte and Michael Phelps set up another duel with the top two seeds in the men's 200 IM at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Swimming next to each other in semifinal one, Lochte and Phelps grabbed the center lanes in the finale. Lochte clocked in with a 1:56.74, while Phelps completed a difficult double this evening with a second-seeded 1:57.26. Earlier in the evening, Phelps took home the men's 200 fly world title.
Lochte and Phelps have won the past four world titles in this event. Lochte had a breakthrough win in 2009, while Phelps captured the title three consecutive championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
"I had a different swim tonight compared to what I did this morning," Lochte said.
Contrary to many of the quotes coming from athletes tonight stating that the world championships were just a tuneup for the London Games, Lochte dodged a question regarding his preparation for the Olympic Games.
"I am just focusing on the World Championships," Lochte said.
Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, firmly in shadow of Lochte and Phelps for the bulk of his career, qualified third in 1:57.66. Cseh has medaled the past three championships in the event with silvers in 2005 and 2009, and a bronze in 2007.
Austria's Markus Rogan (1:57.74), Brazil's Thiago Pereira (1:58.27), Great Britain's James Goddard (1:58.50), Australia's Kenneth To (1:59.17) and Japan's Yuya Horihata (1:59.47) also made their way into the championship heat.