Lochte Strikes Gold On Night 5
The familiar sight of Ryan Lochte on top of the podium was the enduring image of the fifth day of swimming in Barcelona, as the Speedo sponsored American triumphed in the 200m Individual Medley.
In a closely fought contest, Lochte took the lead in the third leg on Breaststroke, and sealed victory on the final Freestyle length to win his 13th FINA World Championships Gold, dating back to 2005.
After the race, Lochte said: “I didn’t know what was going to happen in this event, because my training hasn’t really been there this year. But it’s good to have a medal from this Championships, I’ve got a lot more races to come, and we’ll see how it goes.”
There was more glory for team USA, with Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky winning their fourth and third Gold medals of the Championships respectively in the women’s 4x200m Freestyle.
After a thrilling race which saw the lead change hands several times, Team USA and the Speedo sponsored Australian team went into the final leg in the top two positions, with Franklin anchoring the Americans to a great victory in 7:45.14.
Team Speedo’s Alicia Coutts swam the final leg for Australia, but was left to settle for her fifth Silver medal of the Championships following Franklin’s strong finish.
There was also plenty to cheer for Team Speedo China, as Liu Zige took Gold in the women’s 200m Butterfly, coming out on top following a tight battle which saw Speedo sponsored Spaniard Mireia Belmonte Garcia win Silver.
Both wearing the Speedo Fastskin LZR Racer Elite 2, Liu and Belmonte Garcia were neck and neck at the 150m mark, but it was Liu who edged ahead in the 50m sprint, touching the wall in 2:04.59. Backed by the passionate Spanish crowd which has inspired home swimmers throughout the week, Belmonte Garcia finished in 2:04.78 to join Liu on the podium.
There was a second Gold for Team Speedo China, as Zhao Jing took top spot in the women’s 50m Backstroke.
In a closely fought contest, Zhao held off her competitors to touch the wall in 27.29, before celebrating wildly in the water.
Also among the medals was Team Speedo USA’s Nathan Adrian, who won Bronze in the 100m Freestyle final.
Tonight will see Ryan Lochte aim for his second Gold medal of the Championship as he takes part in the 200m Backstroke final. Lochte finished second in last night’s semi-final behind USA teammate Tyler Clary, to set up a fascinating showdown with his fellow Speedo sponsored swimmer.
Missy Franklin will also be in action this evening as she looks to add a fifth Gold medal of the week in the 100m Freestyle final. Franklin won her semi-final in a time of 53.78 to progress to the final eight as fastest qualifier.
Finally, Team Speedo Great Britain will have two representatives in the 200m Breaststroke final, with Andrew Willis and Michael Jamieson finishing first and third respectively in the first semi-final.
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