Lochte dominates medley heats after freestyle flop

Wed Aug 5, 2015 5:44am EDT
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By Rod Gilmour

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - Ryan Lochte of the United States was back to his best when he started the defense of his men's 200 meters individual medley title in commanding fashion on day four of the world championships on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old atoned for the disappointment of missing out on a medal in the men's 200m freestyle the previous evening by comfortably securing a semi-final berth in first place, gliding smoothly to the wall in one minute 57.90 seconds.

"It wasn't my day last night," the three-time world champion in the shorter medley told reporters. "I did everything I could and it just didn't work out. But what I do best, no matter what, is forget about what happened and move on.

"It was one of the most comfortable 1:57's I have done, so I am excited to see what I can do. It should be a good race."

Behind Lochte, Briton Dan Wallace qualified second, 0.38 seconds adrift, while Conor Dwyer of the United States posted 1:58.63 to finish third fastest.

In the men's 100m freestyle, Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of the United States labored to sixth place in qualification ahead of the semi-finals later on Wednesday.

With Australia's reigning world champion James Magnussen absent through a shoulder injury, it was left to Zetao Ning of China to set the fastest time, his 48.11 seconds edging Cameron McEvoy by 0.22.

"Overall it was a little bit slower than what we all expected it to be," said Adrian, who posted 48.61 seconds.   Continued...

Ryan Lochte of the U.S. swims in a men's 200m individual medley heat at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth