12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte returned to competition this week in Palo Alto, California at the Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. This was Lochte’s first time racing since his 14-month suspension for an anti-doping rules violation. Lochte kicked his meet off with a 200 IM time trial where he dropped a 1:57.88. That was his fastest time in the event since the 2016 Rio Olympics. Later in the week, Lochte lowered that mark, winning the 200 IM title in 1:57.76.
Lochte raced a lot at nationals, and a lot of his swims weren’t impressive, but they were solid considering he hasn’t been training much. Understandably, fatherhood has taken up a lot of time. Lochte’s older now, he’s old man Lochte at 35. It appears he intends to completely shed his bad boy image and buckle-down on the run-up to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha next June.
I want your thoughts and opinions. He’s dropped a 1:57.76 200 IM. He won nationals. And he’s Ryan Lochte. What are his chances of making the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team? I think he’s on the bubble, but I also think he’s dangerous. 35 is just young enough to be threat to anyone in the final heat at U.S. Trials. I think Ryan’s got a 1:55 low in him, and that could make Team USA. Ryan certainly has a lot to prove, and he is still the World Record holder with a 1:54 flat. (On a side note, I wonder what Michael Phelps could pop in the 200 IM…if he decided to get back into training for this one event?)
What are your predictions? What do you think?
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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.