Lochte Calls U.S. Open Performance The “Worst Meet That I’ve Ever Had”


On the heels of his first competition in eight months, Ryan Lochte isn’t pleased with himself.

In speaking with AP News after the 2020 U.S. Open had wrapped up, Lochte claimed that it was “probably going to go down as my worst meet that I’ve ever had”, and vowed to dive right back into hard training upon returning home.

“I do not like swimming this bad,” he said. “When I get back, I’m going to start turning it up again.”

Lochte raced four events at the Sarasota site of the U.S. Open, which was raced in nine different locations across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 36-year-old placed third overall in the men’s 200 individual medley (2:01.05), 24th in the 200 backstroke (2:03.83), 26th in the 200 freestyle (1:52.05) and 51st in the 100 back (57.41). He opted to scratch out of the 100 free.

For context, at the 2019 U.S. Summer Nationals, Lochte recorded times of 1:57.76 in the 200 IM, 1:50.25 in the 200 free, and 55.08 in the 100 back in what was his first meet in over 14 months.

“I don’t know if I’m mentally tired. I know I’m physically tired,” he said. “I love getting on those blocks and racing again.”

Lochte figured he’s only competed in about seven meets since the 2016 Olympic Games, having last raced competitively in March at the Pro Swim Series event in Des Moines. He also told AP News he’s only been back in training for six weeks due to the pandemic, along with an appendectomy surgery in late August, and believes he needs to be racing much more frequently in the lead-up to next year’s Olympic Trials.

“I need to be racing at least once a month with really good competitors,” he said. “I don’t want to lose that confidence.”

After his involvement in the Rio gas station incident after the last Olympics, along with receiving a 14-month suspension for using an IV in 2018, Lochte wants to be seen in a more positive light when he steps on the blocks in what will be his fifth Olympic Games (should he qualify).

“I feel like inside I want to prove everyone wrong,” he said. “I want to do it for myself. I guess this year is way more important than any I’ve ever had.”

AP News also spoke to decorated American Olympian Dara Torres, who won three Olympic medals at 41 years of age in Beijing.

Torres says that it’s still early, and these results can give Lochte and coach Gregg Troy an opportunity to adjust his training moving forward.

“It’s only November and he and his coach can tweak whatever they need to and figure it out,” she said. “He still has a lot of time. He should take that as a plus, figure out what wrong and do what he has to do.”

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12 days ago

“He also told AP News he’s only been back in training for six weeks due to the pandemic…” I think that speaks volumes about why he performed the way that he did.

Let’s see how things go over the next few months. I suspect that he’ll be a viable competitor at OT’s.

Reply to  PBJSwimming
12 days ago

That’s straight up not true haha, the Florida pros only took a few weeks out of the water

Reply to  Klorn8d
12 days ago

Don’t forget that Lochte had emergency appendix surgery in there as well.

12 days ago

For all his ups and downs, Lochte really deserves one last hurrah.

Reply to  Joe
12 days ago

Deserves? Most of his “downs” were his own fault.

Mr Piano
12 days ago

Phelps struggled to finish his races at age 31, I’m sure it doesn’t get easier at 36. I hope he doesn’t overtrain.

Reply to  Mr Piano
12 days ago

Did you see Phelps’ last 50 in the 200im in Rio? That’s where he destroyed everyone

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Bub
12 days ago

I think Mr Piano is thinking of 2Fly and 2Free.

Last edited 12 days ago by The unoriginal Tim
Will 37
Reply to  The unoriginal Tim
12 days ago

If it weren’t for Phelps’ top speed that he developed (or kept), he would not win the 2Fly. The endurance is not there anymore. But the goat managed to touch first as usual.

Reply to  Will 37
12 days ago

Not sure I agree that endurance fades first for aging athletes. For elite distance runners – they often don’t peak until their 30s.

Mr Piano
Reply to  swimgeek
12 days ago

It’s the recovery time that I’m worried about. Lochte’s body simply cannot recover as well from the same practices that he did in his prime. If you can’t recover, you burn out. Hopefully, Lochte takes Torres’ advice to tone it down.

Reply to  swimgeek
12 days ago

That is absolutely true. Power and speed goes way before endurance. The marathon is usually the last event that elite distance runners pursue before they retire. There’s a reason for that – athletes can maintain high levels of aerobic conditioning fairly late in life. I have always thought that swimmers like Anthony Irvin and Dara Torres could have done the 100 or 200 freestyle late in their career. Everyone seems to think that the 50 is the only viable option as you grow older. I’m not sure that’s true.

Reply to  Bub
12 days ago

He could barely get out of pool after 800 free relay

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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