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OMAHA, Nebraska, June 30. THE Battle of the Titans continued with Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte throwing body blows throughout the entire men's 200 IM before Phelps scored the knockout at the finish at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. The swim proved to be the closest in Trials history in the event.
Phelps, who already is the first person to threepeat a pair of events with back-to-back-to-back wins in the 200 free and 200 fly earlier in the meet, added a third threepeat to his ever growing resume. Phelps won this event in 2004 and 2008, and he had enough in the tank to defend his title tonight. The win gave Phelps his 12 career Trials title as well.
Phelps powered down the stretch to defeat Lochte, 1:54.84 to 1:54.93, for a .09-second victory. That margin of victory is closer than the previous record of .15 seconds previously held by Ron Karnaugh with a 2:01.56 to 2:01.71 triumph over Greg Burgess back in 1992.
Phelps has now won three more or titles in three separate Trials. He tied Shirley Babashoff and Katie Hoff with five titles in 2008, and won four in 2004.
Lochte, who had just won the men's 200 back earlier in the evening, had just 28 minutes to prepare for this swim. The second-place finish, his third straight in the event behind Phelps, added yet another swim to his individual plate.
Conor Dwyer, who already made the team in the 400 free and on the 800 free relay, finished third in 1:58.92. Austin Surhoff (1:59.58), Chase Kalisz (1:59.87), Tyler Harris (2:00.73), Cody Miller (2:00.90) and Kyle Whitaker (2:01.49) completed the championship heat.