Ryan Lochte Breaks World Record in 200 Short Course IM

This 2012 Short Course World Championship for American Ryan Lochte has felt much different than his 2010 meet. Though he’s now the face of American men’s swimming, this meet has somehow still been quieter for him.

Yet, here he is, without missing stride, breaking his own World Record in the men’s 200 IM on Friday with a 1:49.63. He became with that swim the first man ever under the 1:50 mark in the race and blew away the competition early. His old record was a 1:50.08 from the 2010 Shrot Course Worlds (where he also broke the 400 IM record).

A look at the comparative splits:

Lochte ’10 24.07 27.35 32.07 26.59 1:50.08
Lochte ’12 23.71 27.03 31.74 27.15 1:49.63

Lochte’s focus in the last few months really showed up in this IM. He was much better on the butterfly leg (which is newly-found a focus event of his) leading off; he was much better on the breaststroke leg (which was his focus in 2010 headed into 2011); and he had a lot more speed before burning out a bit on the freestyle leg.

Here’s what’s really crazy: the second-best swimmer in this race is Darian Townsend from South Africa, almost two seconds behind in a 1:51.55. That’s the biggest gap of any men’s World Record 400 meters or shorter.

This is now the fifth-straight World Championship meet (dating back to the 2008 Short Course Championships in Manchester) where he has broken a 200 IM World Record. He also got it in 2006, though Phelps interrupted by getting the 2007 record in Australia.


  1. Chris DeSantis says:

    Where is the article on Denmark’s domination of the US women in the 4×100 Medley relay?

  2. Lochte broke the WR in this event in 2009 (LCM), 2010 (SCM), 2011(LCM), 2012 (SCM)…

  3. swamswim says:


    • SwimmerTX says:

      Hope this will put to rest all this nonsense about how Ryan is on the decline!

      • yesss it will relax some people with those illusions that he maight be on the decline .
        Such a swimmer will see celarly when he is on the decline , far from happening ! He is on fire …. i repeat again for BOBO . hehehe
        The commentators on eurosport ( french ) were even stating before the race some really bad comments about Lochte … not good at all : 1/10 for the commentators all together .

        • It’s not everywhere. The Russian commentators said he was one of the greatest swimmers in the world just before he dove in. They were not so respectful even for the Russian swimmers. I think the French just cannot get around not winning anything this time around.

          • sorry i didn’t say it was everywhere !!! don’t take it personnal , thanks

          • Exactly said , the french commentators are very unhappy not to win tonight as they thought it would happen … that’s the sport . To learn to loose a race is not easy , i am sure but being content is the key anyway for a happier life

          • Tom says:

            I’m french and I’m happy to see Lochte’s WR.
            It was also a pleasure to see the impressive race from Vlad Morozov.

            I don’t know what kind of comments French commentators have said…
            (I saw the races on live.ru…and I don’t understand russian)
            Maybe we don’t have the best commentators int he world…

            But french swimmers are very respectful with other swimmers.
            And I, as a French supporter, hope that we will have lot of fair and wonderful big races next summer with Lochte, Agnel, Morozov, Gyurta, Sun, etc….

        • Rafael says:

          we don´t think he is on decline.. but he is won´t be a major force on 2016.. I bet even you can´t name a race where you could say he could be the gold pick except 200 IM for Rio..

          • Justin Thompson says:

            Agreed….in light of dropping the 400IM his only hope in RIO for gold is the 200IM. Agnel owns the 200Fr, 200 back will see Ryan Murphy, Clary, or maybe even Conger give him trouble. He may be able to focus on the shorter distances and continue to improve in the 100 fly or maybe the 100 back, but both of those are ripe with competition for him as well.

        • BKP says:

          I recall even the English commentator was saying that this meet wasn’t that impressive for Lochte thus far…are you kidding! Solid 200free (and then even better in the relay lead-off), 2nd fastest split in the 100free relay, butterfly was, a few years back, his “worst” stroke; then finishes top 3 here…clearly now a top butterfly contender going forward.

          Looks like he is still in top form…and maybe a few years left in the tank!

      • Justin Thompson says:

        Nope, unfortunately he’s still on the decline. No doubt a great swim but short course yards and meters are irrelevant. With the GOAT retired he’s still by far the best 200/400IM’er in the world at any distance, but at 28 he’s going to slow down these next 4 years. The times don’t lie from this past Olympics in most of his LC events, which I think was due to over training, but none the less only time will tell.

  4. Lennart says:

    In fact, he has broken the 200 IM record in 5 consecutive world championships (LC+SC), starting in Manchester 2008. Also in Shanghai 2006, but Phelps broke it in Melbourne 2007.

  5. I Don’t see why some of u here are speaking about 2016 !!! non sense ! why ? because right now we are in december 2012 and it’s ridiculous to speculate about 4 years ahead . The best swimmers are where they are today ! Nothing tells us where they will be in 4 years . Stay in the present tense ,it’s more joyfull than the unpredictable future . Peace to all

    • Justin Thompson says:

      It may have to do with the Olympics being the grandest stage of them all and that’s what the world class swimmers are building towards. Sure they would like some WR’s and Championships along the way, but that is just how it is.

  6. abc123 says:

    31.74 breaststroke split in a 200? he could probably train for 200 breast if he wanted to..

  7. Ro says:

    I think Ryan has done very well in Istanbul, considering he trained very little before this worlds, and has spent his time at parties and stuff like that.
    Besides, he has a great heart and gives away to kids every medal he wins. So inspiring and cute.

  8. ismail says:

    Ryan gerçekten belkide tarıhte ender rastlanan bir olaya beni şahit ettiğin için çok teşekkürler.madalyanı o küçük çoçuğa vermen beni gerçekten çok duygulandırdı.insanlar demek ki olimpiyat şampiyonu yada dünya şampiyonu olunca büyük olmuyorlar….Ryan gibi olunca bizlerin kalbinde taht kurunca işte o zaman büyük oluyorlar..ne mutlu sana……sevgilerimle……….

  9. Lochte is a beast. He’s the man!

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