Phelps celebrates birthday by beating Lochte
By Julian Linden
OMAHA, Nebraska (Reuters) - Michael Phelps celebrated his 27th birthday by beating his great rival Ryan Lochte in their penultimate showdown before the London Olympics on Saturday.
For the third time this week, the pair battled each other stroke-for-stroke at the U.S. Olympic trials in America's Midwest, this time in the 200 meters individual medley.
Lochte beat Phelps in the 400m individual medley on Monday but Phelps avenged that loss when he got his hand on the wall first, stopping the clock at one minute 54.84 seconds.
"It feels good to be back on that (winning) side," Phelps told reporters.
"But I'm sure that's not going to be the end of us going back and forth."
Lochte, who had won the 200m backstroke final just 30 minutes before taking on the greatest Olympian of all time, was just 0.11 seconds behind, setting the stage for another epic duel in London when both men will be at their peak.
Phelps has already qualified for four events in London and looks certain to add a fifth after setting the fastest time in the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly.
With the addition of the three relays, he will swim the same eight events he contested at Athens and Beijing. Continued...