(Video Interviews) Phelps, Lochte Rivalry One of the Greatest in Sports

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The Ryan Lochte versus Michael Phelps showdown will continue tomorrow during the finals of the men’s 200 IM. Lochte called their rivalry one of the greatest in sports history.

In tonight’s semifinals, Lochte took the top spot in 1:56.71, nearly a second faster than Phelps’ 1:57.61. All eyes will be on them in the middle two lanes as they are the heavy favorites to represent Team USA in this event in Rio.

Phelps won this event in London in 1:54.27, edging out Lochte’s 1:54.90. Phelps became the first male swimmer in history to win the same event in three consecutive Olympics.

In Beijing in 2008, Phelps won in 1:54.23 en route to winning an unprecedented eight gold medals. Lochte finished third in 1:56.53, .01 behind silver medalist Laszlo Cseh. 

In Athens in 2004, Phelps won in 1:57.14 and Lochte took second in 1:58.78.

Lochte, however, broke Phelps’ World and American records with his 1:54.00 set at Worlds in 2011. He also holds the U.S. Open record of 1:54.56 set in 2009.

Lochte, who failed to qualify in the 400 IM and will not defend his Olympic title in that event in Rio, said he’s in a much better place mentally as the week goes on. He called Phelps a tough competitor and said he loves racing against him.

Phelps said tomorrow will be an exciting race between him and Lochte and noted how they’ve been able to push each other throughout the years.

Phelps Interview:

Lochte Interview:

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