Lochte wins fourth straight world 200m IM title

Thu Aug 6, 2015 5:54pm EDT
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By Rod Gilmour

KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) - American swimming great Ryan Lochte became only the second man to win titles in the same individual event in four consecutive world championships when he triumphed in the 200 metres individual medley on Thursday.

The five-time Olympic champion emulated the feat of Australian Grant Hackett, who won four 1,500 metres titles in a row between 1998 and 2005.

Victory for Lochte was secured in the final length as a powerful surge off the wall, using a new rotational technique he has introduced only over the last three weeks, saw him overtake long-time leader Thiago Pereira.

Lochte, who first landed the 200m IM title in Rome in 2009 and has now won at least one gold at the last six editions of the championships stretching back to Montreal 10 years ago, won in one minute 55.81 seconds.

The Brazilian Pereira claimed silver in 1:56.65 while Shun Wang, of China, took bronze.

"It's an honour to go down in history with one of the greatest swimmers in history, Grant Hackett, and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life," said Lochte.

"I'm definitely really humbled and to say you have made history in any sport is one of the coolest things."

Following a poor US trials, Lochte has competed in fewer events at these championships than at any time in the last 11 years.   Continued...

Ryan Lochte of the U.S. poses with his gold medal after winning the men's 200m individual medley final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke