Lochte undone by tough double

US swim star Ryan Lochte's London Olympics ended with a whimper on Thursday as a brutal backstroke-medley double failed to yield gold and he succumbed yet again to old foe Michael Phelps.

"I am done now," Lochte said, ruling out an appearance in the 4x100m medley relay. "I have a birthday tomorrow and this is the first time in a couple of years where I have one and I don't have to swim."

Lochte, who was celebrating his 28th birthday on Friday, had declared 2012 to be "my time".

After watching Phelps win eight gold medals in Beijing four years ago, the versatile and talented Lochte dedicated himself to improving, and over the past two years had eclipsed his illustrious compatriot as the world's dominant male swimmer.

It first seemed the tide could be turning his way when he beat Phelps at the 2009 world championships, and a victory over Phelps in the 200m freestyle was among Lochte's five-gold haul at last year's worlds in Shanghai.

He qualified for four individual events in London and opened his Games with an impressive victory in the 400m medley as Phelps trailed in fourth.

It was Lochte's first win over Phelps in the Olympics.

But Lochte's bid to stamp himself the star of the London Games unravelled from there.

He was relegated to fourth place in the 200m freestyle, won in majestic fashion by French revelation Yannick Agnel.

A day earlier, Agnel had run down Lochte on the final lap of the anchor leg to give France an upset victory in the 4x100m freestyle relay.

The 200m backstroke appeared to be a chance to right the ship, with the medley to follow another opportunity to demonstrate his rise over Phelps.

Instead, compatriot Tyler Clary overhauled Lochte on the final lap to win in an Olympic record of 1min 53.41sec with Ryosuke Irie of Japan taking silver in 1:53.78.

Lochte, the world and Olympic champion who had led at every turn, settled for bronze.

"I planned on winning, but it didn't happen," Lochte said. "Tyler Clary swam a great race, it was fun to be in it. I don't ever expect to lose -- that is my mindset and how I train to win.

"I planned to get gold medals in everything, but I am bringing back five medals so I am pretty happy with that."

Then came a final duel with Phelps, who is retiring after these Games. Knowing Lochte would be tired after the backstroke, Phelps took the race out hard and never relinquished the lead.

"I went out too fast at the start and that kind of hurt me," Lochte said. "I am a middle distance racer, not a sprinter, so that hurt me.

"It's Michael Phelps, he is one of the greatest racers," Lochte added. "He is a hard competitor, but I love racing against him, it's fun."

Lochte said he didn't regret attempting the double.

"It was hard, but I knew I was capable of doing the double," he said. "I can't be too disappointed, I am coming home with five Olympic medals and that is something to be proud of."

Lochte finished the games with gold in the 400m medley and 4x200m free relay, silver in the 200m medley and the 4x100m free relay and bronze in the 200m backstroke.

He took his tally to 11 Olympic medals, after earning six -- three golds one silver and two bronze -- in Athens and Beijing.

"I am happy," Lochte said as he looked forward to hanging out with his family on his birthday. "I just go with the flow and whatever happens, happens."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano
    Troops overrun BIFF bomb-making facility in Mamasapano

    Government troops captured Sunday a bomb and weapons factory of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced yesterday. Col. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the captured bomb and weapons factory is located inside an area controlled by radical Muslim cleric Ustadz Mohammad Ali Tambako at Barangay Dasikil in Mamasapano. …

  • No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors
    No need for Revilla to visit son – prosecutors

    Instead of filing an opposition, ombudsman prosecutors filed a manifestation yesterday expressing belief that there is no urgent need for Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. to visit his son at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center. “Based on the clinical abstract issued by the Asian Hospital on patient (Cavite) Vice-governor (Jolo) Revilla, which was submitted by accused Revilla in support of his Urgent Motion, Vice-governor Revilla is in stable condition and has stable vital signs, as of March 1, …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say
    How Islamic is Islamic State group? Not very, experts say

    CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting to join the Islamic State group and carry out attacks on American soil. A masked, knife-wielding militant from London who is the face of terror in videos showing Western hostages beheaded. …

  • Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam
    Recruitment firm accused of worldwide scam

    Filipinos aspiring to work overseas should avoid dealing with a recruitment agency that has duped jobseekers worldwide, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said yesterday. The National Bureau of Investigation has padlocked Global Visas Inc., which is based in Cebu. Baldoz said the agency’s parent company, ICS Global Visas Inc. based in the United Kingdom, has reportedly collapsed and left thousands of applicants without jobs.  “Global Visas was in the limelight this week, following its reported …

  • Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao
    Lawmakers split on tax exemption for Pacquiao

    Colleagues of boxing champion Manny Pacquiao at the House of Representatives backed yesterday a proposal to exempt his earnings from his May 2 fight with American Floyd Mayweather from income tax. Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares has urged Pacquiao to promptly pay taxes on his May 2 earnings, which are projected to reach at least $120 million (more than P5.2 billion). …

  • Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer
    Woman with slain Putin critic says she didn't see his killer

    MOSCOW (AP) — The 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov tearfully recounted Monday their last dinner in a chic Red Square restaurant and their walk onto a nearby bridge — but said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options