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

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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Kevin T

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).


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)


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


Ah – I meant domestically.


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.


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


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

Manny Rivas

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.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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