Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte split duels in Mesa
Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte each notched wins in their two head-to-head swims on the final night of competition at the Pro Swim Series at Mesa, Ariz., on Saturday.
“Like old times,” Lochte told media in Mesa.
Phelps, in his first meet since August, took the 100m freestyle in 49.72 seconds, out-touching Lochte by .05. Conor Dwyer was third (full meet results). Phelps also won the 100m butterfly Thursday.
Phelps clocked 48.45 in the 100m free at his best in 2014, the second-fastest time among Americans behind Olympic champion Nathan Adrian. Adrian wasn’t in the field in Mesa.
Earlier Saturday, Lochte captured the 200m individual medley in 1:58.7, ahead of Dwyer (1:59.04) and Phelps (2:00.01).
“That was the best day of my meet here,” said Phelps, who also swam Friday morning, failing to make the top final in the 400m freestyle. “It’s a good starting point. ... It doesn’t really matter where we are at this given day. It kind of really matters where we are a year from now.”
Lochte and Phelps ranked Nos. 2 and 3 in the world in the 200m IM last year, behind Japan’s Kosuke Hagino. Hagino, 20, recorded 1:56.30 on April 7 at the Japanese Championships.
Lochte and Hagino could go head-to-head at the World Championships in Kazan, Russia, in August. Phelps was taken off the U.S. roster for Worlds as punishment following his September DUI arrest.
Also Saturday, Katie Ledecky was under her world-record pace in the 800m freestyle through 500 meters but fell off and finished in 8:13.02. She prevailed by 18.63 seconds. Her world record from last year is 8:11.00.
“There was a stretch of three weeks where I don’t think I had a bad practice,” Ledecky said. “Before that, I think I had a bad practice once a week.”
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu captured the women’s 200m IM. Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry took the 200m backstroke, which she also won at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
The Pro Swim Series continues in Charlotte from May 14-17. Phelps is expected to compete there.