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BARCELONA, Spain, August 2. HE’s not putting up his fastest times here in Barcelona, but the 2013 FINA World Championship might just be the meet that demonstrates just how innately talented superstar Ryan Lochte is as a swimmer.
With just about 11 weeks of actual training under his belt, Lochte is still managing to put together an amazingly successful triple this evening. He started off by winning his 14th career long course world title with a victory in the men’s 200-meter backstroke against the likes of reigning Olympic champion Tyler Clary.
Just minutes later, he delivered a 51.48 in semifinal two of the men’s 100-meter fly. What’s even more impressive is he did it from way out in lane one as he conserved his energy in qualifying this morning, knowing he not only had the 200 back and 100 fly double, but would also be part of the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay later this evening.
When all is said and done, Lochte may never be able to eclipse the Michael Phelps shadow as the Greatest of All Time, but he’s certainly going to make a run at it being more of a 1 and 1A type of discussion.
South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, already a winner in the 200 fly earlier this week, is looking to upend the Lochte train after qualifying second this evening in 51.52. Poland’s Konrad Czerniak also clocked a 51.5 with a third-seeded time of 51.55 to head into the finale.
Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin (51.60), Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh (51.61), Italy’s Matteo Rivolta (51.64), Germany’s Steffen Deibler (51.65) and Belarus’ Yauhen Tsurkin (51.78) comprise the rest of a veteran-laden finale.