• London Olympics 2012

Lochte masters Phelps as duo qualify for Olympics

ESPN staff
June 26, 2012
Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps reflect on the 400m individual medley © PA Photos

Michael Phelps successfully booked his place at London 2012 but his joy was tinged with disappointment after he was edged out by rival Ryan Lochte in the 400m individual medley.

At the United States Olympic trials it was Phelps, who has won 16 Olympic medals - including a record eight gold in Beijing, that got off to the better start, surging to the front after the opening butterfly leg.

However, he was overtaken on the backstroke leg and never regained the lead, with Lochte easing off the gas as he approached the wall to touch in a time of four minutes 7.06 seconds. Phelps guaranteed his spot at this summer's Games when claiming second in 4:07.89, while Tyler Clary came home third in 4:09.92.

"I wanted to win," Lochte said. "I wanted to get on the Olympic team. Now I can just do what I love to do, have fun and race. That time was not good at all. I know I'm capable of going faster."

Phelps had opted to take a nap between the preliminaries and the finals, but a hotel fire alarm cut short his sleep.

He wrote on Twitter: "Well I have always had a prob with waking up from naps... But not possible to sleep through that fire alarm..."

When asked about it after the final, Phelps added: "I was pretty upset and walking down eight flights of steps."

Lochte's victory comes on the back of him defeating Phelps in the 200m freestyle and 200 individual medley at last year's world championships, and Phelps' coach admitted his charge has more work to do after Monday's showdown.

"That's about what we expected," Bob Bowman said. "He just kicked our ass."

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