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Phelps Pips Lochte Over 200m Backstroke

May 15, 2011  - Craig Lord

Michael Phelps, of Baltimore, outswam Olympic champion Ryan Lochte over 200m backstroke at the Charlotte UltraSwim, winning in 1:57.20 to 1:58.82 and also getting inside Lochte's season best of 1:57.63. Phelps's best early season effort is a 1:55.30 from 2004, while his best in May is a 1:55.84 from 2008. 

"I saw a splash out of the corner of my eye and saw the green suit, so I knew it was Ryan. I ended up with two terrible races and one halfway decent one," is hoe Phelps summed up a meet at which he suffered a second defeat this year by Wu Peng (CHN) over 200m butterfly.

The competition, which ended today, unfolded at a time of intense training for most world-class swimmers, with some enduring eight-hour plus coach rides to the meet and home, with racing and training in between. Context counts for much.

Natalie Coughlin picked up a second win with a 54.19 over 100m free ahead of California teammate Dana Vollmer, on 54.30, and Missy Franklin, on 54.60. Franklin had already claimed her own victory, winning the 200m backstroke in 2:08.36 ahead of Elizabeth Pelton, on 2:09.36.

World 400m IM champion Katinka Hosszu, of Trojan and Hungary, took the 200m medley in 2:12.29 and told reporters: "After a week off, we we've working hard, adding more yardage, swimming longer stuff. As the World Championships get closer, I wanted to be swimming faster and faster as this meet went on. I felt I was slow on the first day here."

Elsewhere, Eric Shanteau claimed the men's short medley in 1:59.82 ahead of Markus Rogan (Trojan and Austria), on 2:00.20, with Wu Peng (Club Wolverine and CHN) third in 2:01.19; Mission Viejo's Chloe Sutton added another win, this time over 800m free, her 8:31.20 ahead of an 8:33.37 effort from Andreina Pinto (VEN and Gators); Ricky Berens took the 100m free in 49.46; Ryan Feeley, of Badger, took the 1500 freestyle in 15:27.04 just ahead of Sean Ryan, 15:32.87, and Joseph Arnold, 15:34.77.

The cash prizes went to Rebecca Soni, on $20,000, Franklin, on $10,000 but the money was donated to a water safety campaign so that the teenager can retain her 'amateur' status under US college rules, with Shanteau lifted the third prize, of $5,000.