Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte sets US Open meet record in 200 IM

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EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (AP) Ryan Lochte had a surprising reaction to his latest record-setting performance.

“A little disappointed,” Lochte said after breaking the meet record in the finals of the 200 meter individual medley Sunday at the U.S. Open.

Lochte’s time of 1:59.24 bested the previous mark of 1:59.26 set by Michael Phelps on Nov. 30, 2006. Xavier Mohammed finished second in 2:00.47, and Sam Stewart was third in 2:01.51.

“Whether I broke a world record or not, I always feel like I could go faster. No matter what the time was tonight, I knew I could faster,” Lochte said. “Overall, that was just not a good race.”

Lochte, who set the 200 IM world and American record (1:54:00) on July 28, 2011, started well in this race and was in second place at the first turn. After the second turn, the only question was how much Lochte would win by.

Yet, he was self-critical of his performance.

“The first part of the fly I felt fine and then I don’t know what happened,” Lochte said. “I think I tried too hard and it just backfired on me.”

The weeklong event at the Nassau County Aquatic Center was Lochte’s first USA Swimming-sanctioned meet after a 10-month suspension for his behavior during an incident at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

After a night out with teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigen, Lochte had claimed in an interview with NBC that the taxi the swimmers were in had been pulled over and the athletes were robbed at gunpoint. In a subsequent interview with NBC, Lochte said he “over-exaggerated” the incident.

However, Brazilian authorities, citing videotape evidence, revealed the swimmers were confronted by security personnel after destroying a gas station bathroom.

Lochte eventually posted a mea culpa on his Twitter account.

Update: Lochte cleared of Rio incident charges

Following a fifth place finish in the 100 backstroke Saturday, Lochte said he viewed the 200 IM as an “indicator” of what he needed to work on in order to compete for a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Swim Team. He went on to say that he only trained “once or twice a week” due to he and fiancee Kayla Rae Reid preparing for the birth of their infant son, Caiden.

When he spoke with reporters Sunday, Lochte reiterated his belief that he made the right decision to focus on his family life before stressing he was now planning on preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

“It’s time for me to start doing my job. I’m not going to take a break after this. I’m just going to get back in and actually start training and start getting focused and start my swimming journey for 2020,” Lochte said. “I (have) three years. I need to get back to training and actually train. There’s only one way to go now and that’s up.”

Lochte, 33, would turn 36 during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Should he qualify for the team, it would mark Lochte’s fifth Games. He represented America in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Of his 12 Olympic medals, three have come in the 200 IM – silvers in 2004 and 2012, and bronze in 2008.

Lochte qualified for the final with a time of 1:56.22 in the preliminaries, nearly three seconds faster than Michael Andrew (1:59.12). Mohammed (1:59.29), John Shebat (1.59.70) and Grant Sanders (2:01.26) rounded out the top five preliminary round finishers.

“It’s a starting point,” Lochte said.

More: Lochte’s suspension ends, marks competition return

Richie Porte crashes out of Tour de France again

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Australian Richie Porte crashed out of the Tour de France on the ninth stage for a second straight year, suffering a fractured right clavicle six miles into Sunday’s stage.

“Obviously I’m devastated,” Porte said, according to Team BMC. “For the second year in a row I am ending the Tour de France like this. I was on the ground before I knew it, and straight away felt pain in my right shoulder.”

Porte, who finished fifth in the 2016 Tour de France and was an overall podium contender these last two years, was seen sitting on the side of the road, gritting his teeth and crossing his right arm over his chest.

There was a mass stoppage of riders, with at least one spectator down on the side of the narrow road. The crash came well before the Tour stage was to hit 15 arduous cobblestone sections totaling 13 miles.

Porte was in 10th place after eight stages, 57 seconds behind race leader and BMC teammate Greg Van Avermaet. Avermaet and American Tejay van Garderen, in third place, were expected to work for Porte in the mountains later this week, hoping to put him in the yellow jersey.

Now, Van Garderen is in line to be the team leader.

In 2017, Porte fractured his clavicle and pelvis on a ninth-stage crash on a descent and had to abandon the Tour.

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Chris Froome, other stars crash on Tour de France cobblestones stage

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Richie PorteTejay van GarderenRigoberto UranMikel Landa. Even Chris Froome.

Stage nine of the Tour de France promised to rattle the top riders, and the 15 sections of cobblestones totaling 13 miles delivered just that. All of the named men crashed on Sunday, with Porte abandoning the Grand Tour altogether (albeit he crashed before the first cobbles section, six miles into the stage).

In the end, German John Degenkolb got the stage win ahead of overall race leader Greg Van Avermaet and Yves Lampaert.

Van Avermaet, the Olympic road race champion from Belgium, retained the yellow jersey for a sixth straight day, extending his lead to 43 seconds over Brit Geraint Thomas. Van Avermaet rides for Team BMC, which lost its team leader in Porte.

American van Garderen presumably became the new team leader, but he crashed later in the stage and also suffered three flat tires.

Van Garderen entered the day third in the overall standings, nine seconds behind Van Avermaet. He ended it in 30th place, 6:05 behind Van Avermaet.

The best-placed favorite to finish on the podium in Paris on July 29 is now the four-time Tour winner Froome, in eighth place, 1:42 behind Van Avermaet. Froome is trying to tie the record of five Tour titles shared by Jacques AnquetilEddy MerckxBernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

The Tour takes its first of two rest days Monday, resuming with the first day in the Alps on Tuesday live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold (full broadcast schedule here). Stage 10 features a beyond-category climb and three category-one climbs.

“I’m relieved to get through today and looking forward to getting into the mountains now where the real race for GC (general classification) will start,” Froome said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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