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, Featured, 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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Kevin T
2 years 5 months ago

If I were MP I would feel pretty good right now. 5th best time in the world and this is only his first meet since nearly 2 years ago. Lochte posted a solid fly time as well. Good stuff. This is fun and exciting to see these guys sprinting.

I would like to see MP concentrate on the 100 fly, 100 free, and 100 back and NOTHING ELSE. If he does that I have a feeling he could do some very exciting things with just those 3 events (plus relays).

Joe
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah it would be nice to see him train for the 100 back. I’m not convinced that he would be top 2 in 2016 – I would guess that’d be Grevers / Murphy, plus there’s a whole other bunch of 53 lows out there – but you never know.

I find it hard to believe that, if he wants to, he won’t swim the 200 IM in Rio. I can’t see anyone getting close to him (besides Lochte, of course)

aswimfan
2 years 5 months ago

Hagino is 1:55.38 this year, and he might get down to 1:54 especially if he only focuses on IM events.

Joe
2 years 4 months ago

Ah – I meant domestically.

sven
2 years 5 months ago

I think 100 fly, 100 free, and 200 IM is the way to go. Like ASwimFan said, his only competition in the world right now are Lochte and Hagino. He’s got a very solid shot at gold.

And hey, if he feels good for the 200 free and wants to help out on the 800 relay, why not? But that ramps the training and meet schedule up to a whole new level, so I could see him not going for that.

liquidassets
2 years 5 months ago

Braden, you think they’re both done with the 2IM? I’m not so sure.

aswimfan
2 years 5 months ago

yeah, I think Phelps and Lochte will still race 200 IM in 2016.

Manny Rivas
2 years 5 months ago

I thought Michael Phelps was the ultimate Speedo Athlete? If so then why is he wearing an Arena suit?

Either way Michael Phelps did an awesome job. Especially considering Ryan Lochte has been training hard like crazy and Michael Phelps nearly talking about getting in the pool. I can’t wait to see him in the future.

anon
2 years 5 months ago

I don’t think swimswam posted the other interview from after prelims…

gives more of a glimpse the phlochte relationship 🙂 Of course Ryan would joke about making the C finals together. I’m loving this btw.

Anyone think Phelps might swim the 200 and 100 free just to be on the relays. He would be a huge asset….we need him on those relays.

Kevin T
2 years 5 months ago

Yeah, I think he will choose to swim the 100 and 200 free’s so he can be on the relays. If I were him I probably wouldn’t bother to go above the 100’s. But I am not him and he is going to do what he thinks is best.

Kevin T
2 years 5 months ago

I would like to add that I think he will go for the 200 IM as well. Again, if it were me I wouldn’t do it. That requires breaststroke training. But yeah I think he will go for the 2 IM. I can’t see him going for the 4 IM though.

2 years 5 months ago

top knock swimming

bobo gigi
2 years 4 months ago

Fantastic comeback for MP!
Honestly, 52.13 was unexpected for me before the meet.
But after the prelims I knew that Ryan Lochte would help MP to swim much faster in final.
We must get used to seeing Lochte swim fast in-season now. He has a so different training now at SwimMAC. Great move for him to finish his career.
I don’t know the plan of MP. I don’t know if he wants to go to Rio but he has probably gained much confidence at this meet.
If he focuses on the 100 fly and trains specifically for that event in terms of strength and technical parts, he will surprise again with crazy fast times.
GO MP!

Me
2 years 4 months ago

Phelps could have won that one if he tried. He looked like he had a lot of gas in the tank afterward, unlike Lochte. Ryan had better watch out and start taking care of his body.

PhelpsPhan
2 years 4 months ago

I think Michael Phelps can figure out strategy for himself. Same with Lochte….

Me
2 years 4 months ago

Nothing to figure out. Ryan was showing off to get the headline, and Michael gave it to him. He threw him that bone.

john
2 years 4 months ago

“Training like crazy”????? You sure? Not from what I have seen…Lochte just came off knee injury….

Me
2 years 4 months ago

Ryan’s knee has been good enough to go out dancing in the club almost every night since he’s been injured and then afterward doing whatever else which requires using one’s knees. That’s his business, but hard to take this “knee injury” excuse too seriously when he’s doing this kind of thing at his age.

Bottom line is two years have gone by when Ryan should have been preparing for this “comeback” and wasn’t, and Phelps gave that race to Ryan by .2. I’d like to see Phelps knock that smirk right of that manchild’s face in the coming months.

2 years 4 months ago

I thought you were just trolling above… maybe not? Good grief this comeback is going to make things on this site a bit more interesting.

Me
2 years 4 months ago

I do like Lochte, but so much about him irritates me. I’m sure others must be thinking what I am about this race and his self-care regimen or lack thereof. I honestly don’t know how he gets by the way he does.

Joel Lin
2 years 4 months ago

I think MP and Bowman are very smart and very realistic. MP will qualify for the 3 relays. After that, I think both will handicap the realities of MP’s age and what it will mean for recovery in Rio with 3 swims per individual event, and also the realistic chances he has to compete for a gold medal.

Right now I don’t see MP doing anything but the 3 relays and then 100 fly and 200 IM. Those are the two events where already I put him as a prohibitive favorite to win the gold medal.

I predict a perfect Rio cinco on top of his Beijing ocho.

Sean S
2 years 4 months ago

Does anyone know what suit he is wearing hear? It looks like a Carbon pro but the logo is blacked out and it is hard to be sure. I can’t imagine he will swim for much longer without figuring something out with Speedo. I know he has an Under Armour deal but since they don’t make swimsuits I imagine he is now a free agent on that front.

Sean S
2 years 4 months ago

oops I obviously meant here not hear.

2 years 4 months ago

Sean, I have read here UA is working on a swimwear line… so whatever that ends up meaning will impact his decision here. I doubt he goes back to Speedo.

Me
2 years 4 months ago

That’s very interesting.

tall n wet
2 years 4 months ago

Called it!! Knew MP was gonna go 52.1. Lets see if im right about his 50 free

john
2 years 4 months ago

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.”

Me
2 years 4 months ago

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.

john
2 years 4 months ago

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.

Me
2 years 4 months ago

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.

Me
2 years 4 months ago

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.

dmswim
2 years 4 months ago

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.

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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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