Ryan Lochte sets US Open meet record in 200 IM

Ryan Lochte
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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

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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