Latest 200 Medley Duel in Michael Phelps-Ryan Lochte Rivalry Goes to the GOAT

Ryan Lochte pipped Michel Phelps at the first 100 'fly clash since the Olympic champion made his comeback [USA Swimming]

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte engaged in another duel in the 200 individual medley, Phelps rallying late to win in 1:58.00.

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Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte engaged in another duel in the 200 individual medley, Phelps rallying late to win in 1:58.00.



I like this meet. One begins to feel the scent of the Olympic year. Everything was getting damn serious almost at each event.


Ledecky may give US coaches/selectors some headaches.

Regardless of whether she will swim 100 free individually in Rio, you can be sure that Ledecky will try to post a very fast 100 free time at the trials. The time may give her individual berth, and all will be well if she swims it in Rio. But if she doesn’t swim it, and she wants to swim in the prelims of 4×100 medley, it will become a problem.

But of course, Ledecky posting a top 2 time in 100 free in the trials will be such humiliating for all other US top sprinters bar the other one.


That stereotype of long distance swimmer Ledecky probably wanted to break here in Austin. 53.75 is not the time to be humiliated by. It will rank Ledecky number 10 in the world (not Americans only) last season. The World Championship season.
Why it becomes a problem if Ledecky gets qualified to swim 4×100 medley final or prelims?

Craig Lord

I think, Yozhik, that aswimfan (whose holy etc is indeed way too broad a brush to say the least 🙂 ) means that under new rules those named for relays MUST swim them, even if just a heats swim… if someone named for a relay does not swim, then the whole relay can be disqualified. So, in KL’s busy sched, they have to think carefully about whether to name her for relays or not and what that may mean for her and others. Of course, the medley relay is not a problem: last day… a problem perhaps in this sense: there are at leads two Americans swimming two laps faster than her at that stage of the Games.


Thanks, Craig for clarification.


Ledecky swimming relays is not a problem from Ledecky’s point of view because she will have individual events, and thus will not violate any rules.

There are two potential problems if Ledecky does not swim individual 100 free:

1. In 4×100 free, this means that USA will have to swim all of its relay-only swimmers in the prelims. This could mean all 4 swimmers, 4th to 7th fastest in the trials, or less if some of its 4-7 fastest swimmers also qualifies in an individual event). Thankfully, as women 4×100 free is not as competitive as the men’s, this may not be a huge problem of risking not getting fast enough to qualify for final, but may lose advantageous middle lanes.

2. In 4×100 medley:
“a problem perhaps in this sense: there are at leads two Americans swimming two laps faster than her at that stage of the Games.”
Ledecky swimming in the 4×100 medley means one of USA’s individual 100 freestyler will not have a chance to win medal in the relay.


The “relay only” issue is only really likely to be an issue for the USA and in a couple of cases AUS.

ASW, I’m not really seeing too many issues on this front re Ledecky not swimming the individual 100 but being co-opted for this relay. As long as the top two finishers at Trials (with or without Ledecky) better the FINA A mark then they are individually qualified.

Franklin should qualify for the W200BK at minimum and unless she’s swimming freestyle like a ruptured duck, she’s a likely co-optee. Coughlin looks well in the frame for an individual 100BK slot and is likely to be a co-optee esp if she was amongst the top handful in 100free at Trials.

Therefore they may only select 1-2 “relay only” for this relay. much will depend on the times of that final at Trials



There’s not really issue regarding rules.
But more in denying the opportunity for the second individual 100 freestyler to earn 4×100 relay medal if Ledecky does not swim 100 free individually but given the anchor spot in either the prelims or final of 4×100 medley.

Therefore, I am inclined to think that Ledecky will swim individual 100 free if she’s top 2 in the trials.


common, at least on men 4×100 side I would not be surprised if Russia, France and Brazil will also be affected by this. US might be affected on all events, but except the men 4×100 no other relay has so much depth that this rule would affect the team composition.

About ledecky trying to take all races, that would give a schedule like below (Also she could be a finalist on 100 free but not a medal contender with C1, C2 and Sjostrom there) Also Ranomi is still there.

Also assuming she will not try the 400 IM.

Day 1: 4×100 relay Prelims/Finals
Day 2: 400 free Prelims/Finals
Day 3: 200 free Prelims/Semis
Day 4: 200 free Finals
Day 5: 100 free Prelims/Semis and 4×200 Prelims/Semis
Day 6: 100 free finals and 800 free heats
Day 7: 800 free finals and 4×100 medley heats
Day 8: 4×100 medley finals.

Consdering her medal chances on 100 free, maybe the coaches could give her a spot on medley if she is the fastet or she could swim 100 free semis and drop out of final. Also won´t the 4×200 relay affect her chances to final on 100 free?



Which will be held earlier in the same evening, the w4x200 free final or w100 free semis?

If it is w100 free first, then it won’t affect USA chances for 4×200 free gold in the slightest.

If Ledecky swims 100 free, I doubt she drop out of final if she qualifies. I can’t remember the last time a top swimmer did that in the Olympics.

Now that I’m thinking about it, there’s actually a way for Ledecky to get the anchor spot in the 4×100 medley (either prelims or final) without swimming individual 100 free and without too much controversy:
She can post a very fast split in the 4×100 free that is significantly faster than anything that the second individual 100 freestyler throw whether in the 4×100 free or in her individual swims.


Rafael, you may be correct with regards to the M4X100 but that is probably the only race where the relay only issue causing significant selection questions for nations outside “the old firm”.

Re Ledecky swimming the individual 100free. I think that we have a consensus that at the moment, her position is one of being a potential finalist but a number of “steps” away from being a medal contender. Even if she should, as many expect, shave a few more tenths off her PB by Rio, she is still well off being a contender which would ask the question; would she enter a race where she is clearly not going be “in the mix” ?

Having said that, she IS in the enviable position of the US Trials being the closest to the main event and then having the knowledge of how quickly her competitors are swimming in this event/who is “off pace” and who may be struggling with health/injury.

Just say that one or both of the Campbells are either ruled out or have illness/injury impeded preparations. This could have the impact of opening up an event that was legitimately looking quite predictable with regards to the real medal contenders.

SHOULD something along these lines transpire; you MAY then see her swim the 100free final at US Trials and take one of the individual spots should she finish 1 or 2.

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