OMAHA — Ryan Lochte remains in “constant pain” after pulling a groin Sunday, but he advanced to Monday night’s 200m freestyle semifinals at the Olympic Trials with a faster time than in 2012, when he was the world’s best all-around swimmer.
Lochte clocked 1:47.77 in the 200m free preliminary heats Monday morning, advancing to the semifinals with the fifth fastest time. He was 1:48.14 in the 2012 Trials prelims en route to making the Olympic team in second place behind Michael Phelps.
“I feel it right now,” Lochte said a few minutes after finishing Monday morning. “I’m in pain, but pain is temporary … I guess.”
He will swim Monday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports app) for a place in Tuesday night’s eight-man final. The top six in Tuesday’s final will likely (but not definitely) make the Olympic team for the 4x200m free relay, and the top two make the individual 200m free.
The 200m free marks Lochte’s best remaining chance to make the Olympic team. He just missed in the 400m individual medley Sunday, pulling a groin in the morning prelims and finishing third in the evening final in the event he won at the 2012 London Games.
The 200m free favorite may be 2013 World silver medalist Conor Dwyer, who clocked 1:46.66. He was followed by Jack Conger in 1:47.25.
Michael Phelps, the 2008 Olympic 200m free champ, scratched out of the race Sunday night and will make his Trials debut Tuesday morning.Follow @nzaccardi