Ryan Lochte’s first full-schedule return to competition has gone very well this week in Mesa, Arizona, but he’s apparently decided to reign things in a bit during Friday’s finals session. Lochte has scratched out of the 200 backstroke, where he was the 5th seed coming out of prelims in 2:02.54.
That 200 backstroke was the second-half of a double with the 200 free that Lochte is still entered. While in prelims, that wasn’t too challenging of a double (he had about an hour to rest), in finals the turnaround could be more like 15-20 minutes.
Loche said after just a single day at the Orlando Grand Prix that he thought maybe he rushed his return from a late-2013 knee injury, it’s a smart decision by Lochte to not overdo it here in Mesa. Still, with Michael Phelps not swimming in finals, Lochte now stands alone as the biggest mainstream draw for this meet, so there will still be lots of expectations upon a good performance.
18-year old Curtis Ogren, a high school senior and Stanford commit, moved into the A-Final in Lochte’s absence.
Lochte’s was the only scratch out of an A-Final for Friday night. See full day 2 finals heat sheets here.