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IRVINE, California, August 21. USA's Ryan Lochte put a charge in the crowd at the Pan Pacific Championships with a near world record performance in the men's 200 IM.
Lochte blasted the meet record of 1:55.84 set by Michael Phelps in 2006 with a sterling time of 1:54.43. That performance not only stands atop the world this year, beating Lochte's 1:54.84 from U.S. Nationals, it also stands third all time. Lochte owns the world record with a 1:54.10, while Phelps holds the second-fastest time with a 1:54.23 from his epic 2008 Beijing Olympics.
USA's Tyler Clary finished well back in second with a 1:57.61 to move to third in the world, but missed out on taking a spot at Worlds in the event as Phelps' second-ranked 1:55.94 from U.S. Nationals held up to the challenge.
Earlier today, Phelps elected to scratch this event to focus on the relay. Phelps had won the past two Pan Pacific titles in this event with a 1:59.70 in 2002 and a 1:55.84 in 2006.
Brazil's Thiago Pereira finished third overall in 1:57.83 to move to sixth in the world, while Japan's Ken Takakuwa touched fourth in 1:58.06. Brazil's Henrique Rodrigues (1:59.00), Australia's Leith Brodie (1:59.74), Japan's Kosuke Hagino (2:00.97) and Australia's Tommaso D'Orsogna (2:03.99) rounded out the rest of the A final.
Japan's Yuya Horihata claimed the B final in 2:01.01, well off his top-10 time of 1:59.35 set at the Japanese Nationals in April.
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