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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AnEn
3 years ago

I still have hope that he won’t make the team next year, hopefully Michael Andrew or Carson Foster will keep him out.

Kristiina
3 years ago

Ryan is six-time Olympic champion: 2004 4x200free, 2008 200back and 4x200free, 2012 olympics 400IM and 4x200free, 2016 Olympic 4x200free. This number is not finally. Tokyo 2020 is very near.

beach bum jason
3 years ago

If Lochte can do at his age and with a few very young children then so could Phelps. But he’s not 🙁

AnEn
Reply to  beach bum jason
3 years ago

I am not sure the prospect of getting eliminated in the semifinals in Tokyo next year is what could get Phelps to come back.

Mike
Reply to  AnEn
3 years ago

Michael knows he has no chance against a 49.50 100 fly, 1:50.73 200 fly or a 47 free just to make the relay

Top Dog
Reply to  Mike
3 years ago

You hope Michael thinks that way! I’ve seen Michael do anything he puts his mind to like he has demonstrated time and time again because he is amazing that way. His focus rightfully (in his opinion) or wrongfully (SwimSwam community’s opinion) up until now was on the 50’s. Once he decides which events his Olympic line up will be, he will be unstoppable. The greatest gift sometimes are your biggest failures. He could not have come up a little short at a more perfect time.

It is also clear that he has already started shifting his focus and started preparing for 100’s and 200’s backed by recent times in these events.

The way he trains, he is fitter… Read more »

Mike
Reply to  Top Dog
3 years ago

I’m a huge fan of MP. but this is the reality, these times are faster that what he swam at his peak. Nothing wrong with progression in the sport.

Nat
Reply to  Top Dog
3 years ago

You realize he’s talking about Michael Phelps not Michael Andrew…

sscommenter
3 years ago

*entourage theme song starts playing*

‘oh Jeah… OH JEAHH… OH JEAHHHHHHH’

Kristiina
3 years ago

He swam outdoor pool also. He is back.

Sqimgod
3 years ago

1:53 at toyko incoming

Mr Piano
Reply to  Sqimgod
3 years ago

Ol’ Longhorn about to rip you for that prediction.

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

Nah, I love Lochte. Plus it’s an actual event he swims.

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
3 years ago

Dressel could go 1:53 if he focused on it 😂🤣🤘

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 years ago

So I’ve heard.

Paul
Reply to  Justin Thompson
3 years ago

2Im practice with Lochte and Dressel must be insane

Mr Piano
Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
3 years ago

Did Caeleb steal yo girl?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

My cattle.

Teamwiess
3 years ago

Glad to see him swimming reasonably well.

AnEn
3 years ago

Would be interesting to see what Scott would do if both him and Lochte medal at the olympics in the 200 IM.

Mr Piano
Reply to  AnEn
3 years ago

I think that taking an excessive amount of IV drip is different from smashing blood vials for doping tests.

AnEn
Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

Sure, whatever you need to tell yourself …

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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