Ryan Lochte Will Definitely Swim the 400 IM at Trials (Full Video)

Defending Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte announced today at the pre-Trials press conference that he will be contesting the 400 IM in Omaha on Sunday.

Swim fans have been speculating for the past quadrennial whether Lochte would stick with this event or if he’d drop it in favor of a lighter program now that he’s on the other side of 30.  Lochte, who is 31 currently and will turn 32 a few days before the swim program begins in Rio, seemed to step back from the event after 2012.  However, it looked like it was more of a focus with his swims at both the Austin and Charlotte Pro Series stops this year.  His time of 4:12.66 from Austin gives him the 4th seed for this event at Trials, although his best time is the 4:05.18 he recorded in winning gold in London.

Lochte alluded to the fact that age has taken its toll.  In response to a question about the biggest difference between this Trials and his first, Lochte identified the increased need for recovery between events as the biggest difference in his view.

Asked why he’s swimming the 400 IM, when he knows it’ll take a toll on him, Lochte responded, “[Dropping the event to focus on other events] wouldn’t be fun.  For me, fun is a challenge.  I love having a challenge.  The 400 IM, especially with how old I am, how fast other swimmers are, it’ll definitely be a challenge.”

Coach David Marsh followed that up by explaining that Lochte has four great strokes that work better for him at 400 IM speed than at the speeds the individuals 100s are swum at.  Marsh also noted that Lochte has an amazing physiological ability to recover.

Asked about his biggest competitors, Lochte declined to mention any specific opponents, but said “You have to be tough.  You have to be able to train.  I think my biggest opponent will be myself…if my mindset is right, I will definitely do really well.”

To earn a spot in Rio in this event, Lochte will to square off against veteran Tyler Clary, who finished 3rd here four years ago, Chase Kalisz, world championships medalist in this event, and several other young stars still in, or just out of, college, including Josh Prenot, Jay Litherland, and Gunnar Bentz, among others.

Also from the press conference:

  • Marsh and Lochte both explained how their flight to Omaha was diverted, and the SwimMac team ended up practicing in the lap lanes
  • Neither Lochte nor Marsh would go into more detail on what Lochte would or would not swim, but they did mention that Lochte did a 100 back in 57.1 from a push during warmups today.

In This Story

57
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
57 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve Nolan
4 years ago

That’s awesome. Regardless of how he does, I love the mindset.

chris
4 years ago

Bad news for Chase Kalisz

Dcrabbe6
Reply to  chris
4 years ago

Bad news for everyone this event was wide open,but now with lochte definetly swimming it only 1 of the 5 people all with equal shots can get on the team.

Dcrabbe6
Reply to  Dcrabbe6
4 years ago

Granted lochte still may not swim this in rio . He could be doing this to give himself more options.

teddy tx
Reply to  Dcrabbe6
4 years ago

You cannot be serious!

Michael
Reply to  teddy tx
4 years ago

I mean…come on Teddy, Dcrabbe6 has got a valid point…who would want to try and defend their gold medal from the previous Olympics in the event they would have the best chance of winning an individual gold in…

bobo gigi
4 years ago

That doesn’t mean he would swim it in Rio even if he qualifies.

teddy tx
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

If Lochte qualifies in this event, he will swim it in Rio. That’s what it means.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  teddy tx
4 years ago

of course he will , he is one of the most competitive swimmers on the planet .

teddy tx
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
4 years ago

Yes. I can’t imagine Lochte throwing away a chance to swim an individual event at the Olympics!!
Some people are clearly not familiar with RL!

swimdoc
Reply to  bobo gigi
4 years ago

Right. Most defending Olympic champions just drop the event for which they qualify.

Wasted
Reply to  swimdoc
4 years ago

Phelps did it in 2012 in the 200 fr.

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Wasted
4 years ago

Phelps also had 4 other individual events to contest so he could afford to drop one. Lochte’s best chances are in the 200/400 IM and there’s not denying that.

teddy tx
Reply to  Irish Ringer
4 years ago

400 IM is also on the first day when there is no other event to swim. Even Phelps didn’t drop 400 IM in London.