Ryan Lochte boosted by the past for his biggest Olympic challenge ahead


Ryan Lochte finished fifth in his primary event, three months before the Olympic Trials, but he expressed confidence while at his first swim meet of the year.

That’s because he sees parallels between recent training under coach Gregg Troy at the University of Florida and his memories from the same environment a decade ago, when he supplanted Michael Phelps as the world’s best swimmer.

“The times I’m going in practice, just the yardage, the back-to-back [practices] … I’m seeing it more often. It makes me excited to see what this summer’s going to hold,” Lochte said before placing fifth in the 200m individual medley at a Pro Series stop in San Antonio on Saturday night. “I’m making the finals and being able to be in somewhat of a race with those other guys knowing that I’m dead tired [from training].”

It’s a different takeaway than Lochte’s last meet in November, which he called probably his worst ever.

Michael Andrew, who at 21 is 15 years younger than Lochte, crushed the 200m IM on Saturday. He won in 1:58.05 against a field that included four of the top five Americans since the start of 2019.

For Andrew, the 50m freestyle and 100m breaststroke have been his two primary events, but the 200m IM is now part of his focus, too.

“For years, I’ve kind of neglected pursuing that event because it’s such a tall net in terms of endurance for what I’ve always been as that sprinter,” said Andrew, the second-fastest American in the 200m IM since the start of 2019, trailing only 2017 World champion Chase Kalisz.

Lochte, the fifth-fastest American over the last two years, clocked 2:01.71 on Saturday. His world record from 2011 is 1:54.00. He likely needs to be faster than 1:57 to make the Olympic team at June’s trials, where the top two per individual event are in line to go to Tokyo. The last time he broke 1:57 was at the 2016 Olympic Trials.

“We’re swimming like a foot under water,” Lochte said of the loaded recent training with his group, with the focus on peaking in June. “We don’t have any pop, but we’re racing tough.”

Full San Antonio meet results are here. The next Pro Series stop is April 8-11 in Mission Viejo, California.

Lochte is bidding to make a fifth U.S. Olympic swim team, something only Phelps and Dara Torres have done.

He is trying to become the oldest male swimmer in U.S. Olympic history. And he is trying to do so following suspensions of 10 months in 2016 and 2017 for the Rio Olympic gas station incident and 14 months in 2018 and 2019 for the vitamin infusion photo, plus being 22 pounds overweight when he came back.

Asked Friday to pick out one area he’d like to improve in his swimming, Lochte answered, “Everything.”

“Stick with the program,” he said. “Trust the process.”

Lochte put his trust back in Troy, the man who guided him to his greatest success between 2008 and 2012. Lochte spent time with other coaches after the London Games, including David Marsh and Dave Salo, before returning to Gainesville in fall 2017.

“He’s like my second dad,” Lochte said of Troy, who turned 70 in December. Lochte has said he’s the only swimmer in the group allowed to call Troy by his nickname, “Papi,” to his face. “He got me to where I’m at. And I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.

“[Troy] did say, ‘If you’re coming back, you’re not coming back as a college student, I hope you know that,'” to which Lochte replied, “That’s past me. I’m a family man now.”

Lochte is motivated when thinking of the message he’s sending to his children, 3-year-old Caiden and 1-year-old Liv, in one final Olympic bid.

“I’ve gotten knocked down millions of times,” Lochte said in November 2019. “But, I’m getting up and I’m fighting, and I’m still fighting.”

Lochte said, upon returning from his second suspension, that he conversed with Phelps on balancing training with fatherhood. He asked if Phelps had times when he lacked the drive to swim leading up to Rio.

“He said, ‘Yeah, you have those days, but you’ve just got to think, why are you doing this again?'” Lochte said. “That’s what motivated him.”

Lochte said that Phelps texted him after the 2019 World Championships, which Lochte missed while suspended. The U.S. failed to win the 200m IM for the first time 2001 and took bronze in the 4x200m free relay, which it used to dominate with Phelps and Lochte.

“I hope you’re training really well because we need you. USA needs you,” Lochte said Phelps told him. “I’m like, ‘I’m trying.'”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup

The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final