200m IM: Phelps vs. Lochte - WSMV News 4

Battle breakdown: Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte in the 200m individual medley

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The 200m individual medley – a true test of a swimmer’s speed, versatility and endurance – has been won at every Olympics since 2004 by Michael Phelps. It’s been won at the world championships every year since 2009 by Ryan Lochte. The standing world record – set at the 2011 World Championships – belongs to Lochte.

Both earned the opportunity to swim the event at the Rio Olympics. For Lochte, it represents his only opportunity for an individual medal at the Olympics. He did not qualify to defend his 400m IM gold medal from 2012. For Phelps, it is an opportunity to become the only swimmer to win four consecutive gold medals in the same event (he also has this chance in the 100m butterfly).

Lochte recently described their rivalry to the media, most easily displayed in the 200m IM, as one of the greatest in sports. They own 93 Olympic and world championship medals between the two of them. They've combined for the last five world record progressions on top of all 10 of the top 10 all-time performances.

Here's how their times break down over the years.


2003 WorldsGold, 1:56.04Did not swim
2004 TrialsFirst, 1:56.71Second, 1:59.41
2004 OlympicsGold, 1:57.14Silver, 1:58.78
2005 WorldsGold, 1:56.68Bronze, 1:57.79
2007 WorldsGold, 1:54.98Silver, 1:56.19
2008 TrialsFirst, 1:54.80Second, 1:55.22
2008 OlympicsGold, 1:54.23Bronze, 1:56.53
2009 WorldsDid not swimGold, 1:54.10
2011 WorldsSilver, 1:54.16Gold, 1:54.00
2012 TrialsFirst, 1:54.84Second, 1:54.93
2012 OlympicsGold, 1:54.27Silver, 1:54.90
2013 WorldsDid not swimGold, 1:54.98
2015 WorldsDid not swimGold, 1:55.81
2016 TrialsFirst, 1:55.91Second, 1:56.22
2016 Olympics (heats)Second, 1:58.41First, 1:57.38
2016 Olympics (semifinal)First, 1:55.87Second, 1:56.78

*Phelps posted the top time of 2015 at U.S. Nationals, clocking 1:54.75

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