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BARCELONA, Spain, July 31. RYAN Lochte has become much more conservative in his approach as evidenced by him shutting it down the last 10 meters of the men’s 200-meter IM semis at the FINA World Championships.
Taking it easy down the stretch didn’t seem to hurt as the two-time defending champion posted a 1:57.07 and looks good to join Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Aaron Peirsol as threepeat artists at Worlds.
Phelps has done it in three events in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM, while Hackett is the only four-straight winner with triumphs in the 1500 free.
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino will give Lochte a push with a second-seeded time of 1:57.38. The two have battled it out in the world rankings this year with Lochte currently leading 1:55.44 to 1:55.74.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh is looking for his fifth straight medal in the event after a third-seeded time of 1:57.41. He’s never been able to break through the Phelps/Lochte barrier for the top spot, but has finished silver-bronze-silver-bronze in the past four editions at Worlds.
Brazil’s Thiago Pereira (1:57.52), China’s Wang Shun (1:57.80), Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:58.03), Australia’s Daniel Tranter (1:58.10) and Sweden’s Simon Sjodin (1:58.17) also made the finale.