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Rocht golden, Phelps out

07-29-2012 05:25 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, July 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. swimming sensation Ryan Lochte stole the headlines at the London Olympics swimming on Saturday with a emphatic win in the men's 400m individual medley, while overwhelming Michael Phelps was shut out of a medal.

Lochte, three-time Olympic champion, led from the very beginning to touch wall first at 4:05.18. Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira finished second at 4:08.86, while Japanese Yuya Horihata settled for a bronze at 4:08.94.

Phelps, surprisingly, were shut out of medals with a fourth place at 4:09.28.

During the gruelling race, Lochte was already in the lead by the time he surfaced following his initial dive off the starting block. He had an one-second lead after the opening butterfly leg and expanded that to two seconds over the backstroke and three seconds after the breaststroke leg. Roared on by a capacity crowd, he carried on his streak and powered home in the freestyle leg to win by over three seconds.

Phelps, 14-time Olympic gold winner and long-time master of the 400m individual medley event, fell out of the podium in the first of his seven events at which he called his last Olympics.

Lochte, who last year emerged from Phelps's shadow with five titles at the World Championships in Shanghai -- including 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley victories over Phelps, lost to Phelps in three out of four events at the U.S. trials last month.

On Saturday night, Lochte eclipsed the illustrious Phelps by an undeniable win of over four seconds and rose to a realm of his own.

"I think I am in shock. I knew I was capable of winning," said Lochte.

"I heard the fans screaming and was cheered up," he told reporters.

Phelps was disappointed in screwing up his first event, admitting his rivals were better prepared.

"I felt fine for the first 200 meters, but in the last 100 meters they swam better and that's why they got medals. They were more prepared," said Phelps.

"It's frustrating to start on a bad note, its upsetting, but the biggest thing is to get past it and to move forward. I hope I can finish better than I started," he added.

"I was lucky to get up, I had the chance for a good start to the Games and didn't take it," said the 27-year-old.

Phelps' coach Bob Bowman was also surprised with the flop of Phelps. "I honestly don't think it was a fitness issue. I thought he was in a good place mentally," he said.

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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