RACE VIDEO: Ryan Lochte Tops Michael Phelps in 100 Fly Final at Mesa Grand Prix

  32 Braden Keith | April 24th, 2014 | Arena Pro Swim Series, National, News, Video

Race video is courtesy of Universal Sports Network, a SwimSwam Partner.

So, he’s officially back. Michael Phelps showed that he’s certainly ‘in the hunt’ in his first competitive final since the 2012 Summer Olympics with a 52.13 in the men’s 100 fly at the 2014 Mesa Grand Prix. There, he raced to 5th in the world, but lost to his rival Ryan Lochte, who was a 51.93 (#2 in the world).

This is sort of a reboot of the rivalry between two swimmers on the tail ends of their careers, but two who are still the most famous swimmers in the United States by far. No longer will their battles be in the 200 IM or the 400 IM; instead, it seems like the matchups are more likely to come in this 100 fly and the 100 free.

But that reboot is a positive one, as these races have a different feel than the IM’s. When listening to them talk, it’s clear that at this point of their careers, these two guys really enjoy their new lives as sprinters.

Phelps and Lochte are good for each other. When interacting with each other, we see both of them sort of drop their PR-produced personas a little bit. After the race, during the interview, the two were joking with each other, and Phelps momentarily let some of his real personality slip through, before going back to his famous polished responses about having fun. Likewise, Lochte likes to be a good role model for the kids, talk about hard work, but when talking about his race with Phelps, he let a few playful barbs slip Phelps’ way.

These two are still the faces of our sport, even within sight of their 30th birthdays, and the interplay between them is great for swimming. Races like the above are great for swimming – showing that Phelps is still an awesome swimmer, but then showing that others are capable of being just as awesome, that’s good for the sport.

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32 Comments on "RACE VIDEO: Ryan Lochte Tops Michael Phelps in 100 Fly Final at Mesa Grand Prix"

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Can we please stop obsessing with Debbie Phelps? I get it, she’s a supportive mother. But Michael is almost 29 years old–do we really need to ask her if he should try for Rio? I think Michael can make that decision on his own.

But clearly you are correct…Phelps just basked in the expected media hype and then “gave it” to Ryan because he would rather sit there looking annoyed saying “I am really just doing this for fun.” That was his plan. After two dozen Olympic medals he was just playing head games. Silly me…I am naive. Daddy Bowman will likely give him detention after school Monday.

Phelps doesn’t have anything to prove. He knows what people think of his “rival”. He’s got plenty of time to do his thing. He didn’t have to win that.

As someone commented in another article elsewhere…What is a “rivalry” if one guy always wins? Most Americans know that Michael has typically come out on top. They haven’t watched the Worlds or Pan Pacs in between Olympic years. He’s making it interesting in my view. Like I said, he doesn’t need to care.

The other comment I read was something to the effect of…”Big deal, Phelps was on the couch for two years and barely lost to his ‘rival’ who has been training all along”. If Phelps won, people would have less of a reason to watch. They need a storyline. It is about the viewers…That’s where the money comes from.

Me…you proved my point. Hardly sounds like you think he is training hard. Thus…if he is that fast without proper training…just think if he actually buckles down. Don’t let your obvious dislike taint an objective comment. He just swam the second fastest butterfly in the world with, what you describe, as a “lack of self care regimen.”

I’ve been a fan for some time. I know he needs to “decompress” and his days can be intense…But if I had all of that going for me, all of that riding on me, all of that time put in, all of that bs said about me…I may be taking better care of myself. It just isn’t worth it. You just never know when things will catch up with you.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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