WR Holder Ryan Lochte Drops 1:57.88 200 IM in First Post-Suspension Race

2019 PHILLIPS 66 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Six-time Olympic champion Ryan Lochte swam his first official race since June 3, 2018, at the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships in Palo Alto, California, Wednesday morning.

He went 1:57.88 in a 200 IM time trial, splitting 25.68/29.47/33.88/28.85. Lochte’s best time since Rio before Wednesday was 1:58.90, and his world record from 2011 sits at 1:54.00. His swim qualifies him for 2020 Olympic Trials; he’s also entered to swim the event on Sunday.

Lochte is also entered in the 100 fly, 100 back, 200 free and 400 IM this week.

The nearly-35-year-old did not strictly need to swim at Nationals to get back on the United States’ 2019-2020 National Team, and receive the funding that comes with it. Lochte just has to be in the top six American swimmers, based on FINA world rankings, in an individual Olympic event – from the combined results of USA Swimming or FINA sanctioned meets – with his qualifying swims occurring on or before August 25. Note that time trials do not count toward making the team, but that his time from Wednesday would rank him as the No. 4 man in the nation behind Chase Kalisz and Michael Andrew this season.

Here’s what the U.S. 200 IM ranks look like, as of Wednesday morning:

200 IM
Chase Kalisz 1:56.78
Michael Andrew 1:57.49
Abrahm DeVine 1:57.66
Will Licon 1:59.74
Luca Urlando 2:00.12
Carson Foster 2:00.13

Click here to view the current top six American swimmers in every Olympic event, as they stood after the 2019 FINA World Championships.

After serving a 14-month suspension for intravenously receiving a vitamin infusion at a rate above the allowed limit, Lochte became eligible to race in the middle of last week. Although the qualification period for Nationals had officially closed, SwimSwam learned from USA Swimming that Lochte’s times from the 2018 Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet early last June were eligible for entry; he swam at that meet before he was officially suspended on June 23.

Despite his suspension being backdated to May, the nature of his infraction was such that his ensuing times did not need to be forfeited, USA Swimming said. He was, however, granted an “exemption” to enter the 200 free, as he didn’t swim in before he got suspended.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist overall, has been struggling to stay eligible since the Rio Olympic Games, where he missed the podium in the 200 IM and didn’t receive any individual medals. After swimming concluded at those Olympics, he embellished a story that went global about the now-infamous gas station run-in. He was ultimately given a 10-month suspension and dropped by a handful of high profile sponsors, including Speedo. His next suit sponsor, TYR, retained him in light of the most recent suspension.

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LOOZING CONTROL

JEAH

Colgate

Is he the oldest male swimmer swimming at Nationals? a 1:57+…..hope those kids of his are watching….

Kristiina

Yes. He is oldest. Only male swimmer over 30years old. Female swimmers is also one: Dana Vollmer.

JerDawg

Jeah!!

Swim dawg

Must be the dad strength.

Togger

Just super hydrated.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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