U.S. Olympic Trials: Latest I.M. Clash Of Michael Phelps & Ryan Lochte Goes To GOAT

Michael Phelps in Omaha at USA Olympic Trials - by Matthew Bish - Bold Action Media

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte have engaged in some epic battles through the years in the 200 individual medley, their latest duel going to Phelps in 1:55.91.

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kevin roose

Great for Rio Phelps and Lochte competing in individual events particulary against each other , you always want the headline names….cant say the same about the Golfing event at Rio becoming a nightmare with all the big names dropping out ..


Glad to see Lochte qualified an individual event. He really is the second best 2IMer of all time behind Phelps.

My two cents on Phelps so far in this meet: he made it in his first two events so far, so that is good.

I don’t think he is completely rested, which partially explains the relatively slow times. But that’s not a full explanation. Seems like things aren’t going as planned.

Bob and Michael have a month to try to sort things out.

kevin roose

Apart from Ledecky i dont beleive any swimmer would go into this meet not fully rested . I have heard time and time again from swimmers and from people on this site ” that the American Olympic Trials are the toughest meet in the world “.
Missy Franklin said on a interview for Rio official website ” that the Olympics themselves are a piece of cake compared to the American Trials themselves”.
Yet i hear with great amusement in comments on this site she may not have fully rested and therefore has underestimated her rivals .

craig swanson

Age does not stop these two greats. The same incredible passion, intense rivalry an killer instinct that has seen them dominate this event since Athens.

craig swanson

Is it an advantage or disadvantage having your Olympic trials so close to the main event? Have often wondered why America leaves it so close to the Olympics while their opponents have their trials months before.


@Craig Swanson: lol, don’t get me started on that one.


@Kevin Roose: due to us foolishly having trials too close to the games, the top swimmers have to go to the meet not completely rested but rested enough to qualify. Which is a fine line to walk.

Other swimmers who don’t really have a shot at making the team can do a major taper. They are hoping to do a best time, or better yet knock off a partially tapered top swimmer.


Easyspeed, the reason why so little people 3 peat, is because it’s difficult. Those who have achieved it, you will notice that they had a reduce schedule.
Now Phelps is the GOAT & he has already achieved the 3 peat, now for a couple of events going for 4 peat. Now, not putting it beyond him. But those Americans who think he can win 3 individual & also back up for 3 relays, well I’m not surprised at the slower times. Father time catches up on all of us.


Sorry for the poor English in the previous post.

craig swanson

@easyspeed. It is all about whether to taper or not. I undertand that Australia’s swimmers do not go into a major meet unless they are tapered. At least I think that is the case. Not so with American swimmers? Seems it does not worry some of your best as they are producing good times in any case.


I think this not tapered stuff is a cop out for slower than expected times!


Only those with a very clear position of dominance in their various events can afford to not fully taper for their Trials. Ledecky is one, MP arguably has this margin in 1-2 events but certainly not across all.

The US situation is probably advantageous in that they can potentially hold their taper, or manage it, for the intervening period whereas others with much earlier National meets will essentially have to peak for their Trials (exc for their occ dominant individuals) then undertake a whole new preparation.

In essence, for the Australians, its somewhat akin to a whole new season. Whilst they may have had amazing domestic seasons with great progressions in PBs culminating in a stellar Trials; it cannot be taken as read that they WILL automatically follow on to their next “peak’/new season.

kevin roose

Yes and this is the interesting debate about when you have your trials America approx 40 days before or Australia in April ?
i dont believe any body has posted which is conclusively the right timing …
Advantages for both it seems but America has been the leading swim nation for over 50 years so you would think other countries would adopt the same approach that being 5 weeks out …
Australia run the risk of swimming slower at Rio than they did in Australia which happened to a number of swimmers going into London ….
One scenario is becoming evident by the day America dont look as powerfull on paper as going into previous Olympic meets …..
Approx 9 countries to gold medals in London its shaping up as a likely scenario again …

kevin roose

Nine countries i can think of with strong gold medal aspirations ;


@Robbos, et al: First of all, anyone who does read the comment section on a regular basis, my apologies for sounding like a broken record.

It just bugs me when everyone is being reductionistic and evaluates performance only based on age. Missy is struggling at this meet. She is only 21. Darra Torres set an AR and almost won a gold at age 40 (missed it by .01).

There are a lot of factors that go into overall performance. Age is certainly one of them.

There are advantages and disadvantages to being an older swimmer. Re: the former: increased strength and experience (and sometimes cardio capacity); Re: the latter: longer recovery time and psychological burnout.

The last factor I mentioned was the biggest obstacle to Phelps and Lochte over the last 4-6 years (Phelps being out of the pool or training half as*ed and Lochte going to a lower volume program).

@commonwombat: agree with your 1st two paragraphs. In the case of a Ledecky type swimmer, trials being close is actually an advantage; she gets to do a nice rehearsal for what she will do while feeling much better in the water a month later.

paolo rubbiani

@kevin roose: Italy has Paltrinieri in 1500 free, Pellegrini in 200 free and Detti in 400 free with different gold chances but, anyway, gold chances.

About Phelps it’s obvious that more than something hasn’t gone as expected in his preparation/tapering for OT.
Not too unexpected considering his age, the remarkable changes in his life but also Bowman’s uncertainties about hitting the taper: in the press conference last Saturday, Bowman admitted that he never knows how the taper has gone.
Before Worlds2007, when then Phelps had fantastic races, he thought he had failed the taper..

kevin roose

Yes your right Paolo Italy too …..its a great thing for global swimming , the sport is only for the better with this situation ….


In a nice discussions few months ago, I was shred to pieces by some Phelps (and probably some Lochte fans too) when I dared to suggest that Lochte’s biggest chance for gold is 200 IM and Not 400 IM. I proposed that Lochte had no chance to win 400 IM gold.
I also said that Lochte is too old to win 200 free medal (which many US fans thought was a sacrilege) as I pointed out that historically Lochte would be the oldest 200 free first medal winner by 10 years.

I kept saying that Lochte need to focus on 200 IM as it’s his greatest chance for gold and need to ditch 200 back.

Events this week played out to my prediction. In Rio, Lochte will not be encumbered by 400 IM, he will not swim 200 free individually but he will get his warm up swim in a nice 4×200.
And finger crossed, he will be super healthy in Rio to finally be swimming 200 IM with the freshest condition he’s ever swum in a meet.
Meanwhile, Phelps will have done his gigantic battles against Le Clos and Cseh in 200 fly ans well as a possibly 4×200 and/or 4×100 stints as 100 fly prelims, not to mention the thought of having to qualify for 100 fly final on the same evening (thankfully 100 fly semis is scheduled after 200 IM with w100 free final in between). But if he swim 100 semi in Rio like he did last night, he’ll be out of final no question. We can clearly saw that his recovery speed/capacity decreased, due to ageing.


As for taper or not taper, holding trials close to the big games or not, this is endless debate, however the facts from the past Olympics show that:
More US top swimmers improve their best times in the big game compared to, for example, swimmers from Australia.

Peter Lee





kevin roose

Wow and guess what Australia now rockets back into contention for the womens 4 x 100 medley relay ………


kevin, yes AUS is back in contention as Weitzeil progress is quickly neutralised.


Easyspeed, Torres is a great example, as her peak she was a 50/100 swimmer, at age 40 she was soley a 50 swimmer. Phelps should aim for 1 or 2 events only .
But I understand this is Phelps & can make me look silly.

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