By John Lohn
Photos by Peter H. Bick
MONTREAL, Canada, July 31. THE heavy favorite to win the event, Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh didn’t disappoint in the final of the men’s 400 individual medley, as he broke his European record and posted the fourth-fastest time in history. Cseh took command of the race from the start and touched the wall in 4:09.63, making him just the second man to crack the 4:10 barrier.
American Michael Phelps, the defending champ in the event, holds the top three times, but chose to pass on the event in favor of a varied schedule from his norm. Consequently, Cseh was able to produce a runaway triumph. At last summer’s Olympic Games in Athens, Cseh was the bronze medalist in the event, behind Phelps and the United States’ Erik Vendt.
Italy’s Luca Marin collected the silver medal in surprising fashion, as he negotiated the 400 meters in 4:11.67, comfortably ahead of the 4:13.47 registered by Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, a product of the University of Southern California. The fourth position went to Italy’s Alessio Boggiatto, who delivered a time of 4:13.48.
American Ryan Lochte was in the medal picture for the first half of the race, but couldn’t keep with the leaders down the stretch and settled for fifth in 4:13.67. The field was filled out by Japan’s Hidemasa Sano (4:17.72), American Robert Margalis (4:17.93) and Greece’s Ioannis Drymonakos (4:19.12).