By John Lohn
OMAHA, Nebraska, July 4. MAKE it 4-for-4 for Michael Phelps, and this one in his second world record of the week. Leading from start to finish and fending off a late charge by Ryan Lochte, Phelps won his fourth event of the Olympic Trials, taking the 200 individual medley in 1:54.80. The effort broke Phelps' world record of 1:54.98 from last year's World Championships. Lochte touched in 1:55.22, the third-fastest effort in history.
Phelps added to his victory haul that already included triumphs in the 400 IM, 200 freestyle and 200 butterfly. He'll try to add a fifth win when he races the final of the 100 fly tomorrow night. Phelps went out in 25.16 on the fly leg, with Lochte at 25.55. After the backstroke, Phelps was at 53.97 to the 54.50 of Lochte. After the breaststroke leg, it was Phelps in 1:27.57 and Lochte in 1:28.10. Going into the wall, Lochte made a move on Phelps, but was answered.
Four years ago in Athens, Phelps and Lochte swept the gold and silver medals in the event and there might not be a race on the Olympic program that is more of a lock than this one. For Lochte, the 200 IM was his second race in 21 minutes. He was second to Aaron Peirsol in the 200 backstroke. In that event, Peirsol tied Lochte's world record with Lochte clocking the third-fastest time ever.
"I knew turning at the 100 that this was going to be it," Phelps said. "Whoever was in the lead at the last 50 was going to win. Lochte was the best double I have ever seen. It just shows how talented he is and what a good racer he is."
Lost in the Phelps-Lochte show was Eric Shanteau's time of 1:58.15. While good for only third place in the United States, it would be a national record in nearly every other country in the world. Shanteau was followed by Tim Liebhold (2:00.06) and Alex Vanderkaay placed fifth in 2:00.10. Sixth was a tie between Dan Madwed and Robert Margalis in 2:00.77 and eighth went to T.P. Patrick in 2:01.52.
Video Footage Removed Due to NBC Restrictions
Go to Swimming World's 2008 Olympics Landing Page for the most comprehensive coverage of the meet on the Internet.