(Reuters) - Olympic champion Ryan Lochte, who has been appearing in his own reality television show and not fully committed to training since last year’s London Games, showed he had lost none of his drive by winning two titles 90 minutes apart at the U.S. national swimming championships on Wednesday.
Lochte, who has said he will swim through until the 2016 Olympics in Rio, won the men’s 200 meters freestyle and 200 backstroke at the Indiana championships and qualified for the world titles in Barcelona later this year.
The 28-year-old was particularly impressive in the backstroke where he clinched the title in one minute, 55.16 seconds, the third-fastest time in the world this year, given he had only been training consistently for about two months.
“I went for it in both races,” Lochte told reporters. “I knew from the lack of training this year that I had to go out fast and try to hold on from there.
“I like being out in front and going from there.”
Lochte’s feat was matched by Missy Franklin, who won the 100 freestyle on Tuesday, when she clinched the 200 title by more than two seconds with a time of 1:55.56 then clinched the 200 backstroke in a championship record of 2:05.68.
Franklin was tailed closely in the backstroke by Elizabeth Pelton, who will be her college roommate at the University of California later this year.
“Training this fall (autumn) is going to be so much fun,” Franklin said. “No one can push me like (Pelton) can, so it’s going to be great for both of us.”
Breeja Larson and Kevin Cordes also qualified for the July 19-August 4 world championships by winning the 200 breaststroke titles, while Christine Magnuson and Eugene Godsoe won the 50 butterfly.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury