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BARCELONA, Spain, August 1. WITH his dynamic swim in the men’s 200-meter IM tonight, USA’s Ryan Lochte became just the fifth man to ever accomplish a threepeat at the FINA World Championships.
Lochte blasted the assembled championship field with a 1:54.98 for the win, with that time standing as the 13th-fastest ever. It proved to be the only 1:54 of the year, beating Lochte’s previous world-best of 1:55.44 from U.S. Nationals earlier this summer.
That’s Lochte’s 13th world long course title, and along with his 20 short course wins, he now owns 33 world titles. If you add in his five Olympic golds, that’s an audacious 38 wins at an international meet.
Lochte also joined an exclusive club as a threepeater, having won the 200 IM in 2009 and 2011 as well.
Before tonight, only Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Aaron Peirsol had won the same event three times straight, and naturally, Phelps did it in remarkable fashion.
Phelps did it in three different events in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 200 IM, while Hackett won four straight in the 1500 free.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Kosuke Hagino continued his impressively aggressive meet schedule with a silver in 1:56.29, while Brazil’s Thiago Pereira took third in 1:56.30.
China’s Wan Shun (1:56.85), Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh (1:57.70), Australia’s Daniel Tranter (1:57.88), Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:58.45) and Sweden’s Simon Sjodin (1:59.79) also competed in the finale.