Lochte’s Tokyo dream dies with 200m medley trials defeat

2015

OMAHA, United States, June 19, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – Ryan Lochte’s dream of
making a fifth Olympics ended Friday with a seventh-place finish in the 200m
medley at the US Olympic swimming trials.

Lochte, whose 12 Olympic medals include six golds from his four prior
Olympics, was never a factor in the final won by Michael Andrew in 1min
55.44sec.

Sixth after the opening butterfly leg, he trailed home in lane seven as
Andrew set a blistering pace, fading slightly but still finishing comfortably
ahead of Chase Kalisz, who was second in 1:56.97.

Lochte, whose world record of 1:54.00 set at the 2011 World Championships
still stands, finished in 1:59.67.

As he climbed out of the pool a dejected Lochte was embraced by Andrew and
Kalisz.

Then there were hugs for Lochte’s wife, Kayla, who was poolside with their
4-year-old son Caiden and 2-year-old daughter Liv.

Lochte’s longtime US Olympic teammate Michael Phelps made his way down from
the stands for another consolatory embrace.

“He’s a legend in the water,” Andrew said of Lochte, who at 36 was seeking
to become the oldest man to make a US Olympic swimming team. “He’s done some
incredible things.

“It’s an honor to be in the water with him. I wish the best for him.”

The 200m medley was Lochte’s last chance to qualify for Tokyo. In his only
other event this week he failed to advance from the heats of the 200m
freestyle.

Lochte won silver in the 200m medley in London in 2012 and was fifth in
2016 in Rio, where the athlete’s Games ended amid scandal after a drunken
late-night episode after which he was found to have fabricated a story about
a robbery.

Sponsors fled and Lochte was suspended for 10 months, a punishment that was
followed by a 14-month ban for receiving a banned intravenous infusion of
vitamins in May 2018.

It was that year Lochte sought treatment for alcohol abuse, deciding that
his life “needed a change.”