Ryan Lochte’s last shot at Tokyo Olympics – at age 36 – has arrived

2021 U.S. Olympic Trials - Swimming - Day 5
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Ryan Lochte faces his final and best chance at a piece of Olympic history on Friday night in Omaha.

The 12-time Olympic medalist, who turns 37 during the Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 3, would become the oldest U.S. Olympic male swimmer in history if he wins the 200m individual medley final at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

The second-place finisher will likely qualify as well, but that is not guaranteed until enough men make the team in multiple events; the U.S. Olympic pool swimming team cannot exceed 26 men.

The 200m IM is the only individual event Lochte has raced at all four of his Olympic appearances, taking two silvers and a bronze.

Lochte, who won this race at four consecutive world championships from 2009-2015, has held the world record for 12 years but was seeded fifth entering this week’s meet with a time nearly four seconds off his world record.

Though this is Lochte’s best chance at a record-tying fifth Olympic team, he is still an underdog and will race from Lane 7 in the final. See below for more on the stacked finals field.

With his kids Caiden, 4, and Liv, 2, watching in the crowd with wife Kayla, Lochte was fourth in his semifinal heat Thursday night – on Liv’s birthday – and made it into the final with the sixth best time. He told NBC reporter Michele Tafoya that he is confident he has a faster swim in him for the final after some rest, noting he made several mistakes in his semifinal. Earlier on Thursday, Lochte had the second-best time in the preliminary round at 1:58.48.

He is the only one of the eight finalists who did improve his time from prelims to semis.

Earlier in the week, Lochte was 25th of 50 swimmers in the 200m freestyle prelims. He made the Trials cut in five races but has only contested the 200m free and 200m IM.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule | Women’s Event Previews | Men’s Event Previews

A look at tonight’s races …

Women’s 200m Breaststroke FINAL — 9:03 p.m. ET
Will Lilly King qualify for both breaststroke events for the second straight Olympics? Could Micah Sumrall (née Lawrence) return to the Olympics? King was fastest in the semifinals and is favored to qualify in yet another event after winning the 100m breast earlier in the week. Sumrall, a 2012 Olympian who won two World medals in this event between London and Rio, was fourth at the 2016 Trials. Challenging them for an Olympic debut are Annie Lazor and Emily Escobedo. King’s training partner, Lazor was third in the 100m breaststroke.

Men’s 200m Backstroke FINAL — 9:13 p.m. ET
Ryan Murphy is eager to defend his 2016 Olympic gold in this event, but who will join him in Tokyo? Austin Katz, the 2018 NCAA champion as a freshman, is seeded second with Bryce Mefford, who graduated from Cal this year, in third. Shaine Casas, who just missed the team by taking third in the 100m backstroke, has another shot at his first Olympics but was the final qualifier into the final.

Women’s 200m Backstroke Semifinals — 9:22 p.m. ET
World record holder and reigning World champion Regan Smith, still just 19, leads the qualifiers, followed by 18-year-old Phoebe Bacon. Smith and Rhyan White, seeded third, were the top finishers in the 100m backstroke. This is the last chance for Olympic and World medalist Kathleen Baker to make a final at Trials; Baker fractured a bone in her foot in early May.

Men’s 200m Individual Medley FINAL — 9:41 p.m. ET
In Lochte’s bid for a fifth Olympic Games at 36 years old, he will face stiff competition from Michael Andrew. Andrew, who already qualified for Tokyo by winning the 100m breaststroke, had the fastest time in both previous rounds and was under Lochte’s world record pace for some of his semifinal. Chase Kalisz, second in the semis, is the 2017 World champion and 2019 World bronze medalist in this event; he won the 400m IM on the first day of Trials. Third-seed Kieran Smith has had himself a week after winning the 200m and 400m free finals to make his first Olympic team. Carson Foster was third fastest in the prelims and is hungry for a top-two finish after placing third in the 400m IM.

Women’s 100m Freestyle FINAL — 9:52 p.m. ET
Known for her backstroke, will Olivia Smoliga make her Olympic return in freestyle? The 26-year-old who won a record eight gold medals at short course world championships in 2018 has yet to secure a spot on this year’s Olympic team but tied for fastest in the semifinals with Natalie Hinds, who believed she was done with the sport after the 2016 Trials but returned in the fall of 2018. Challengers include Abbey Weitzeil, a two-time relay medalist in Rio, and Allison Schmitt, who qualified for her fourth Olympic team by placing second in the 200m free but has never swam an individual 100m free at the Olympics. Reigning Olympic and two-time World champion Simone Manuel was ninth in the semis, missing the final by one spot, later explaining her overtraining syndrome diagnosis in a press conference.

Men’s 100m Butterfly Semifinals — 9:57 p.m. ET
Two-time reigning World champion and world record holder Caeleb Dressel was the top qualifier by 1.54 seconds, setting a U.S. Open record of 50.17 seconds in the prelims. Cal senior Trenton Julian and Tom Shields, who made the Olympic final in this event in Rio, tied for the second-best time. Nineteen-year-old Luca Urlando will try to make another final after finishing third in the 200m fly by nine hundredths of a second.

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Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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