Ryan Lochte visits Augusta, girls go wild: ‘He’s like 1,000 times cuter in person’

Ryan Lochte

Highlights from Ryan Lochte‘s meet and greet in Augusta, Ga., on Saturday included a cute (or disturbing) fan poster, giggling girls and, of course, another question about Michael Phelps‘ retirement.

Lochte visited a pool house at Augusta Swim Supply for an autograph session. Teenage girls began lining up at least three hours before his appearance, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“He’s like 1,000 times cuter in person,” Kennedy, 14, told the newspaper.

“Once you meet him, you’re like, ‘I have met him,’ and nobody can take that away,” her friend, Annabel, said.

The newspaper compiled a slideshow from the event. This photo was undoubtedly the winner.

Lochte spoke with reporters at the event. Here are some of the highlights:

The very first question: Do you play golf? “I don’t think you want to see me. … I’m pretty bad, but I do like the sport.”

On setting goals for 2016: “I have, and I’m not going to share them with you guys. They’re my goals. There’s only two people that know it. Me and my head coach. … I want to keep everyone out there on their toes.” (very Phelps-like with that answer)

Lochte said he’s on a month-long break after the World Championships finished earlier this month. He expects to get back in the water in about a week. Lochte has said he planned an extended training trip to Australia this fall.

A reporter said he’s nearing “retirement age.” Lochte quickly quipped, “Don’t say that.”

On Phelps: “He says he’s retiring. I don’t believe it,” Lochte said, smiling, followed with a chuckle. “I’m hoping that he’ll be back, especially for 2016. So, we’ve just got to hope.”

On delivering Combos via swimming in the Hudson River last week: “Don’t swim in the Hudson River. … It was an epic thing that I did.”

On what he called an “average” effort at the 2012 Olympics: “I wasn’t satisfied. I know I can do a lot better and go a lot faster and do more events.”

On what he eats every day: “I think the question is what don’t I eat,” he said, estimating he takes in 6,000 to 8,000 calories per day. “I just had a couple chicken sandwiches. I’m already hungry.”

Man vs. Bike in 400-meter hurdles race

Katie Ledecky out-touches new rival at swimming’s U.S. Open, extends streak


It was a rare sight: Katie Ledecky being matched stroke for stroke in a distance race in an American pool. She was up for the challenge.

Ledecky out-touched emerging 16-year-old Canadian Summer McIntosh by eight hundredths of a second in the 400m freestyle at the U.S. Open in Greensboro, N.C., on Thursday night.

Ledecky and McIntosh were tied at the 300-meter mark. Ledecky ended up clocking 3:59.71 to McIntosh’s 3:59.79 to extend a decade-long win streak in freestyle races of 400 meters or longer in U.S. pools.

“I know we’ll have a lot more races ahead of us,” Ledecky said on Peacock. “We bring the best out of each other.”

The U.S. Open continues Friday with live finals coverage on Peacock at 6 p.m. ET.

U.S. OPEN SWIMMING: Full Results

At the Tokyo Olympics, McIntosh placed fourth in the 400m free at age 14.

She accelerated this year, taking silver behind Ledecky at the world championships and silver behind Tokyo gold medalist Ariarne Titmus of Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

Then in October, McIntosh outdueled Ledecky in a 400m free — also by eight hundredths — in a short-course, 25-meter pool at a FINA World Cup meet in Toronto. Long-course meets like the Olympics and the U.S. Open are held in 50-meter pools.

McIntosh also won world titles in the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

A potential showdown among Ledecky, Titmus and McIntosh at the 2024 Paris Games is already being compared to the “Race of the Century,” the 2004 Olympic men’s 200m free where Australian Ian Thorpe edged Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband and Michael Phelps.

In other events Thursday, Regan Smith, an Olympic and world medalist in the backstroke and butterfly, won a 200m individual medley in a personal best 2:10.40, a time that would have placed fifth at June’s world championships. She beat 16-year-old Leah Hayes, who took bronze in the event at worlds.

Olympic 400m IM champ Chase Kalisz won the men’s 200m IM in 1:56.52, his best time ever outside of major summer meets. Frenchman Léon Marchand won the world title in 1:55.22 in June, when Kalisz was fourth.

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Eliud Kipchoge, two races shy of his target, to make Boston Marathon debut

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will race the Boston Marathon for the first time on April 17.

Kipchoge, who at September’s Berlin Marathon lowered his world record by 30 seconds to 2:01:09, has won four of the six annual major marathons — Berlin, Tokyo, London and Chicago.

The 38-year-old Kenyan has never raced Boston, the world’s oldest annual marathon dating to 1897, nor New York City but has repeated in recent years a desire to enter both of them.

Typically, he has run the London Marathon in the spring and the Berlin Marathon in the fall.

Kipchoge’s last race in the U.S. was the 2014 Chicago Marathon, his second of 10 consecutive marathon victories from 2014 through 2019.

He can become the first reigning men’s marathon world record holder to finish the Boston Marathon since South Korean Suh Yun-Bok set a world record of 2:25:39 in Boston in 1947, according to the Boston Athletic Association.

In 2024 in Paris, Kipchoge is expected to race the Olympic marathon and bid to become the first person to win three gold medals in that event.

The Boston Marathon field also includes arguably the second- and third-best men in the world right now — Kipchoge’s Kenyan training partners Evans Chebet and Benson Kipruto. Chebet won Boston and New York City this year. Kipruto won Boston last year and Chicago this year.

American Des Linden, who won Boston in 2018, headlines the women’s field.

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