WATCH LIVE: Ryan Lochte makes Rio individual event debut

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After winning a gold medal as part of the United States’ 4×200 freestyle relay time Tuesday night, Ryan Lochte will make his Rio individual event debut Thursday afternoon. Lochte’s swimming in the 200 IM, and he’s part of heat four in the first qualifying round. Also competing in the 200 IM is Michael Phelps, who was also on the 4×200 free team, and the 21-time Olympic gold medalist will be racing in heat four. Other swimmers to keep an eye on in this race are Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, winner of two medals in Rio so far, and Brazil’s Thiago Perreira.

Not swimming in the 200 IM: Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who won bronze in the event in 2012 with Phelps and Lochte finishing 1-2. The aforementioned Perreira finished fourth in this event in London.

WATCH LIVE: Swimming Day Five, Preliminaries — 12 p.m. Eastern

The women’s 100 free will get things started at the pool, with Americans Abby Weitzel and Simone Manuel swimming in heats six and four, respectively. Also swimming in heat six is Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who took silver in the 200 free behind Katie Ledecky Tuesday night. Other swimmers expected to contend for a medal in this event include Australia’s Cate Campbell and Femke Heemskerk of the Netherlands.

The 200 meter breaststroke preliminary heats for the men and women will be held Wednesday afternoon as well, with the United States being represented by Ryan Murphy and Jacob Pebbley in the men’s 200 breaststroke and Lillia King and Molly Hannis in the women’s 200 breaststroke. The final qualifying heats of the afternoon will be in the women’s 4×200 free, with the United States having its sights set on a fifth Olympic gold medal in the history of the event.

The only time the United States did not win the women’s 4×200 free: Beijing in 2008, when Australia took the gold, China the silver with the Americans settling for the bronze.

Noah Lyles clips Trayvon Bromell in personal best at New Balance Indoor Grand Prix

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Noah Lyles got his 2023 off to a personal-best start, beating Trayvon Bromell in a photo finish in the 60m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Boston on Saturday.

Lyles, the world 200m champion, ran 6.51 seconds. Bromell, the world 100m bronze medalist, also ran 6.51. Lyles prevailed by two thousandths of a second.

“I’ve been waiting on this for a long time,” Lyles, whose personal best was 6.55, told Lewis Johnson on NBC. “We’re not just coming for the 200m world record. We’re coming for all the world records.”

Lyles is running the 60m to better his start as he bids to add the 100m to his 200m slate come the outdoor season that starts in the spring.

Grant Holloway extended a near-nine-year, 50-plus-race win streak in the 60m hurdles, clocking 7.38 seconds, nine hundredths off his world record. Olympic teammate Daniel Roberts was second in 7.46. Trey Cunningham, who took silver behind Holloway in the 110m hurdles at last July’s world outdoor championships, was fifth in 7.67.

Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 60m in 7.02 seconds, one week after clocking a personal-best 6.98 to become the third-fastest American in history after Gail Devers and Marion Jones (both 6.95). Hobbs, 26, placed sixth in the 100m at last July’s world championships.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the Olympic and world 400m hurdles champion competing for the first time since August, and Jamaican Shericka Jackson, the world 200m champion, were ninth and 10th in the 60m heats, just missing the eight-woman final.

In the women’s pole vault, Bridget Williams, seventh at last year’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, upset the last two Olympic champions — American Katie Moon and Greek Katerina Stefanidi. Williams won with a 4.63-meter clearance (and then cleared 4.71 and a personal-best 4.77). Stefanidi missed three attempts at 4.63, while Moon went out at 4.55.

The indoor track and field season continues with the Millrose Games in New York City next Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

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Birk Irving, last man on Olympic team, extends breakout season with Mammoth win

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One year ago, Birk Irving was the last man to make the four-man U.S. Olympic ski halfpipe team. Since, he continued to climb the ranks in arguably the nation’s strongest discipline across skiing and snowboarding.

Irving earned his second World Cup win this season, taking the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, on Friday.

Irving posted a 94-point final run, edging Canadian Brendan Mackay by one point. David Wise, the two-time Olympic champion who won his fifth X Games Aspen title last Sunday, was third.

A tribute was held to 2015 World champion Kyle Smaine, a U.S. halfpipe skier who died in an avalanche in Japan last Sunday.

“We’re all skiing the best we have because we’re all skiing with Kyle in our hearts,” Irving said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “We’re skiing for him, and we know he’s looking down on us. We miss you Kyle. We love you. Thank you for keeping us safe in the pipe today.”

Irving also won the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Dec. 17. Plus, the 23-year-old from Colorado had his best career X Games Aspen finish last Sunday, taking second.

The next major event is the world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state) in early March. Irving was third at the last worlds in 2021, then fifth at the Olympics last February.

The U.S. has been the strongest nation in men’s ski halfpipe since it debuted at the Olympics in 2014. Wise won the first two gold medals. Alex Ferreira won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics. Aaron Blunck is a world champion and X Games champion.

Irving is younger than all of them and has beaten all of them at multiple competitions this season.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t competed since the Games after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

In snowboarding events at Mammoth, Americans Julia Marino and Lyon Farrell earned slopestyle wins by posting the top qualification scores. The finals were canceled due to wind.

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