Ryan Lochte grabs sixth gold at the Pan Pacific World Championships
Ryan Lochte almost surpassed his own world record in the 200-meters individual medley at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Irvine, California on Saturday.
He won the event with a time that is third fastest in the history of swimming. Lochte finished the race in 1 minute and 54.43 seconds, while the record he set last year was 1 minute and 54.10 seconds, a little before the high-tech body suits were banned in the pool. After winning the sixth gold medal in just four days, Lochte told reporters that he was concentrating more on swimming than breaking world records. Despite these remarks, he did want to prove that the world records set before the swim suit ban are not that difficult to overcome as a number of sport critics have claimed. He confessed that he did want to break the record and it would have only taken a few dolphin kicks for him to do that.
Lochte was followed by one of his team members, Tyler Clary who won the silver medal with a time of 1 minute and 57.61 seconds, while the third place finisher was the Brazilian athlete Thiago Pereira with a time of 1 minute and 57.83 seconds. The world record holder and best swimmer of 2010 so far, Michael Phelps withdrew from the event as he wanted to practice his butterfly stroke for the 4 into 100-meters medley relay. It was a wise decision on his part as he was able to hold off Masayuki Kishida after Junya Koga and Kosuke Kitajima, who had given their Japanese team a lead in the butterfly.
In the freestyle anchor leg, the US athlete Nathan Adrian took away the gold with a time of 3 minutes and 32.48 seconds. The Japanese swimmer finished the race in the second place with a time of 3 minutes and 33.90 seconds while the bronze was won by an Australian who finished third with a time of 3 minutes and 35.55 seconds. Kitajima, the winner of 200-meters breaststroke in the quickest time this year, told media that his team wants to make a strong comeback in the international relay contest. He admitted that although the American team was way above all others, they can still put in the effort to reassert themselves.
Prepared for the upcoming Asian Games, the Japanese athlete was pleased with his performance this week. Although, he was nervous in the beginning of the 200-meters meet, he struggled and was successful in winning gold medal for his country. On the other hand, it was yet another big night for the US swimming team since they achieved their sixth victory in 10 events. During the event, Cesar Cielo, another world record holder was also defeated by Adrian in the 50-meters freestyle. The Brazilian swimmer finished the race in 21.57 seconds, while Adrian was able to win it with a time of 21.55 seconds. The third place finisher was the Canadian Brent Hayden, who won the bronze medal with a time of 21.89 seconds.
The Olympic champion, Cielo was not pleased with his performance although he won the 50-meters butterfly and a bronze in the 100-meters freestyle. He told correspondents that his freestyle leg didn’t turn out as expected. The women’s freestyle 50-meters race was won by Jessica Hardy who finished in 24.63 seconds. It was her debut meet after serving a drug ban for two years. The winner of silver medal was the American Amanda Weir with a time of 24.70 seconds while Victoria Poon from Canada was third with a time of 24.76 seconds.