Tag Archives: lochte

Hannah Miley beats Ye Shiwen to gold in 400m medley at World Short-Course Championships and Lowe wins bronze

Miley beats Olympic champion Ye to win gold and Lowe bags bronze at World Short-Course Championships

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UPDATED:

21:11 GMT, 12 December 2012

Hannah Miley held off Olympic champion Ye Shiwen to claim Great Britain's first gold medal of the World Short-Course Championships when she won the 400 metres individual medley in Istanbul.

Ye was at the centre of the biggest controversy in the pool at the 2012 Olympics as her freestyle leg en route to victory in the eight-length event almost defied belief.

In London the Chinese teenager was just three hundredths of a second slower over the final 100m than Ryan Lochte, winner of the men's race.
Indeed her last 50m was faster than four in the men's final, including Lochte and Thiago Pereira, the gold and silver medallists.

Earlier Jemma Lowe won Britain's first medal at the event by finishing third in the 200
metres butterfly.

Take that: Miley (left) held off a late rally from Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen

Take that: Miley (left) held off a late rally from Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen

Miley, fifth in London, had qualified fastest into the final, but predicted it would be a different race come the final, claiming the Chinese teenager was 'playing' in the heats.

Fourth after the butterfly and backstroke legs, Miley then produced a superb breaststroke to turn first going into the freestyle, 2.04 seconds ahead of Ye.

However, as expected, Ye came back and on her final 25m of 28.14 secs, the only sub 29-second last length in the field, she reeled Miley in.

The Scot, though, was breathing to her right where she could see her rival, whom she held off by 0.19s to win in a new championship record of four minutes 23.14 seconds, the fastest ever in a textile suit, bettering her own mark from the European Championship last month.

Hanging on: Miley turned into the freestyle leg 2.04 seconds ahead of Ye and held on to win by 0.19 seconds

Hanging on: Miley turned into the freestyle leg 2.04 seconds ahead of Ye and held on to win by 0.19 seconds

The 23-year-old 'was hanging on for dear life' and admitted the achievement had significance for both her and her father and coach Patrick, vindicating their approach after the Olympics.

Miley said: 'A lot of top athletes aren't here so for me I see it as an opportunity and any opportunity I see I try and take it.

'So for me I was aiming for it to be a confidence booster for both myself and my dad and what we are doing this season.

'Not only were we trying to chase placings, but also to do a really good time which I was really happy with.

'But the main thing is long-course (50m) swimming so I am really happy with what I've done, but for me I am not going to be happy with it until I can prove I can do it long course as well.

'Hindsight is a great thing and lots of people have cliches and I was genuinely was happy with that swim, but for me I probably wouldn't be the athlete I am standing here today doing those times if the Olympics hadn't have happened.'

Golden girl: Miley (centre) poses with her gold medal in Istanbul

Golden girl: Miley (centre) poses with her gold medal in Istanbul

Lowe secured Britain's first medal in Istanbul as she won bronze in the 200m butterfly.

The 22-year-old swam from lane one after qualifying seventh, meaning she had no idea of how the expected leaders were faring.

However, that had little bearing on the Swansea ITC swimmer who touched in two minutes 3.19 seconds. It was also a national record for Lowe, who lowered her own 2010 mark, the Briton leading after 150m before being overtaken by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and 2012 Olympic champion Jiao Liuyang.

All smiles: Jemma Lowe (right) picked up the bronze in the 200m butterfly

All smiles: Jemma Lowe (right) picked up the bronze in the 200m butterfly

Lowe said: 'I'm really pleased with that. I didn't know what to expect after this morning when I was in that slow heat by myself and I just scraped into the final.

'Because I have won a medal previously at world short course I was really determined to get up there, so I just gave it my very best tonight and I can't believe how it worked out.'

There was no such satisfaction for Michael Jamieson, the Olympic 200m breaststroke silver medallist.

The Glaswegian was thoroughly frustrated, despite setting a new personal best of 58.56s in the 100m breaststroke.

He said: 'It's the same old story on the 100 – I just can't keep up with the bigger guys.

Powerhouse: Lowe put in a solid performance to pick up Britain's first medals

Powerhouse: Lowe put in a solid performance to pick up Britain's first medals

'It's frustrating – it's the fastest I have ever been but I am getting to the stage with the 200m that if I am ever going to improve then my 100 needs to come down.'

That was in contrast to Georgia Davies, another Swansea ITC swimmer, who set a personal best of 57.41s to qualify third for the 100m backstroke final.

Lizzie Simmonds was 10th in 58.34s, although her focus is on the 200m since her move to Bath ITC.

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: Michael Phelps wins 20th medal with gold in 200m individual medley

Legend Phelps wins his 20th Olympic medal as he claims 200m individual medley title

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UPDATED:

19:38 GMT, 2 August 2012

Michael Phelps cemented his greatness by winning a 20th Olympic medal with gold in the 200m individual medley on Thursday night.

Phelps beat his great rival Ryan Lochte in an exciting final.

The American has now won 16 gold medals – six at the Athens Games in 2004, eight at Beijing 2008, and two more at this Olympics.

Earlier Lochte could only take bronze in the 200m backstroke, behind the winner Tyler Clary.

Another success: Phelps won Olympic gold in the pool on Thursday night

Another success: Phelps won Olympic gold in the pool on Thursday night

American Rebecca Soni claimed gold in the women's 200m breaststroke after smashing her own world record in the final.

Soni was a massive odds-on favourite
to win the title after setting a world record of two minutes 20.00
seconds in the semi-finals, and fully justified her status with a
commanding performance.

The 25-year-old took control of the race after the opening length and
touched in a time of 2:19.59secs, slicing more than four tenths of a
second off her previous time. Japan's Satomi Suzuki claimed silver with
Russian Iuliia Efimova taking bronze.

London 2012 Olympics: Yannick Agnel beats Ryan Lochte to win 200m freestyle

Agnel delight! But it's agony for Lochte as he loses out to French superstar again

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UPDATED:

23:15 GMT, 30 July 2012

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When Ryan Lochte arrived here last week, it was obvious he had a powerful desire to dominate Olympic swimming in the manner Michael Phelps had four years earlier in Beijing.

He had his eye on seven gold medals, and he would win them by crushing Phelps and raising the question of who is the finest swimmer of them all. He wanted people to at least ask if it was him rather than his fellow American.

When Lochte took his first gold on the opening night, winning a 400m individual medley in which Phelps could only finish fourth, it looked as though he was on course. He appeared to be in devastating form, reaching the 250m mark in world record pace before easing off in the knowledge that he had the race in the bag and had others to follow.

Derailed: Ryan Lochte has twice been beaten by Agnel

Derailed: Ryan Lochte has twice been beaten by Agnel

Only it has not exactly gone to plan since then, with a certain Frenchman, a giant of a Frenchman standing over 6ft 7in, somewhat spoiling his party.

When Lochte launched himself off the blocks on the final leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay on Sunday night, he did so in a commanding lead established by Phelps and their two team-mates.

But Yannick Agnel tore past him in the final straight to take gold for the French and last night he destroyed him again, this time in the 200m freestyle — a race Lochte won at the worlds last year.

While Agnel surged to victory in a rapid 1.43.14sec, Lochte trailed in fourth behind the Chinese powerhouse, Sun Yang, and Korea’s Park Taehwan. Sun and Park actually tied for second, with the former adding a silver medal to the gold he won over 400m. Great Britain’s Robbie Renwick finished sixth.

Two good: Frenchman Yannick Agnel celebrates his second gold after winning the 200m freestyle

Two good: Frenchman Yannick Agnel celebrates his second gold after winning the 200m freestyle

Agnel has been threatening to perform as he did last night. Only 20, he was fifth in the World Championships in Shanghai 12 months ago but he demonstrated his considerable quality with five gold medals at the European Junior Championships in 2010. He also arrived in London with the fastest time in the world, and he maintained that form to secure the second gold medal of his games in less than 24 hours.

Lochte should still win the 200IM but it will not be easy and a more serious challenge could yet come from his American rival.

Phelps has never enjoyed the longer medley race and he seemed distinctly unhappy in the pool on Saturday night.

Big ask: Robbie Renwick did well to make the 200m freestyle final but he could not finish in the medals

Big ask: Robbie Renwick did well to make the 200m freestyle final but he could not finish in the medals

But he responded to that disappointment with a stunning 100m relay leg, coming home in a time inferior only to Agnel, and he impressed again last night in the semi-finals of the 200 butterfly.

Despite such a disappointing start to his fourth Games, Phelps still has the opportunity to become the greatest Olympian in history this evening. His relay silver left him with 17 Olympic medals in total, two short of a record. If the Americans can take a medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay and he can finish in the first three of a butterfly event he has long dominated, he will get there.

Judging by her performances yesterday, of far greater certainty is a second gold for the 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen.

Already the talk of the games after her world record 400m IM, she is proving just as dominant in the 200m equivalent.

Back in the pool: China's Ye Shiwen was competing again after her world record on Saturday

Back in the pool: China's Ye Shiwen was competing again after her world record on Saturday

Ye has aroused suspicion after covering the last 50m of her 400m IM faster than Lochte did his in winning gold in the men’s event. Her last 100m was quicker than any second 100m a woman has swum in the 200m freestyle.

On Monday she was back in the pool, and in the opening heat she recorded a time of 2.08.90 that equalled the mark she set to win gold in Shanghai. It was also 1.6sec quicker than any other qualifier for last night semi-finals, among them Great Britain’s Hannah Miley.

When she returned last night she swam even faster, setting an Olympic record of 2.08.39 while continuing to keep the brakes on.

Britain’s leading backstroke swimmers had to be content with fifth in their finals over 100m. Liam Tancock, the world champion last year over 50m, could not live with the pace set by America’s Matthew Grevers, who won gold in an Olympic record of 52.16sec. Tancock clocked 53.35sec.

Gemma Spofforth came into her race as the reigning world record holder but she too struggled, American teen sensation Missy Franklin winning the first of what is sure to be many Olympic golds in 58.33sec. Spofforth, who has said she plans to retire after the Olympics, touched in 59.20sec.

In the women’s 200m freestyle, Britain’s Caitlin McClatchey secured a place in tonight’s final, qualifying sixth fastest.

London 2012 Olympics: Yannick Agnel wins 200m freestyle

Agnel claims gold in 200m freestyle as Renwick trails home in sixth

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UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 30 July 2012

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Frenchman Yannick Agnel won the 200 metres freestyle to claim his second Olympic title in 24 hours as Robbie Renwick finished sixth.

Agnel, just 20, anchored the French sprint freestyle squad to victory over the United States on Sunday night when he overhauled Ryan Lochte in the final 10 metres.

This time he led from the start and enjoyed a dominant victory in one minute 43.14 seconds with Beijing silver medallist Park Tae Hwan and 400m freestyle champion Sun Yang sharing silver while world champion Lochte was locked out of the medals in fourth.

Two good: Frenchman Yannick Agnel celebrates his second gold after winning the 200m freestyle

Two good: Frenchman Yannick Agnel celebrates his second gold after winning the 200m freestyle

Renwick was unlikely to feature in the battle for medals but his sixth-place finish in 1:46.63secs was creditable.

It meant there was a new Olympic champion with 2008 title-holder Michael Phelps having opted out in London.

Big ask: Robbie Renwick did well to make the 200m freestyle final but he could not finish in the medals

Big ask: Robbie Renwick did well to make the 200m freestyle final but he could not finish in the medals

London 2012 Olympics: Hannah Miley in 200m medley semis

Miley through to 200m medley semis as team-mate McClatchey powers on

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UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 30 July 2012

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Hannah Miley and Caitlin McClatchey both safely negotiated their way through the heats of their respective events as the third day of action got under way at the Aquatics Centre.

While the pair will race again tonight (Monday), there was disappointment for Roberto Pavoni, Sophie Allen, Joe Roebuck and Rebecca Turner, with the latter two both finishing 17th, one spot outside qualification.

Miley was fifth in her favoured 400 metres individual medley on Saturday night and the 22-year-old returned to post the 10th fastest time of two minutes 12.27 seconds in the 200m.

The Scot said: 'I'm really really happy, it's great to make it back into the semi-final. I always take it one stage at a time and now I'm in the semi-final and the next stage is to make the final. You can't predict how the other girls are going to swim, it's never how everyone predicts but I feel a lot more relaxed after the 400m.'

Powering through: Hannah Miley will be back for the semi-final of the 200m individual medley

Powering through: Hannah Miley will be back for the semi-final of the 200m individual medley

The Garioch swimmer was swimming alongside Ye Shiwen, who swam a faster final length in the 400m medley event than Ryan Lochte, winner of the men's equivalent.

The 16-year-old is the world champion in the shorter event but Miley was unconcerned at being in an adjoining lane.

'Not really because you don't know what to expect from everyone,' she said. 'Some are going to go out hard at the start, some are going to come back on different legs.'

Allen was devastated after finishing 21st in 2:14.72.

'My aim was to make the final so to not even make the semi-final, I'm gutted,' she said. 'The time is in line with my fastest heat swims but I need to step up my game in the heats.

'I've always struggled to get my a*** in gear in the mornings, but that's no excuse when you come to a Games like this.'

Up and at them: Hannah Miley posted the 10th fastest time to qualify for the semis

Up and at them: Hannah Miley posted the 10th fastest time to qualify for the semis

McClatchey eased into the 200m freestyle semi-finals in joint seventh but there was disappointment for Turner who missed out by just two hundredths of a second.

McClatchey is competing at her third Games having reached at least one final on each occasion, including a sixth-place finish in this event in Beijing.

The 26-year-old swam the anchor leg for the sprint relay that came fifth earlier this week and today she looked impressive with her customary smooth technique to win her heat in 1:58.03.

McClatchey said: 'I had great confidence from the 4×100 because I was on form so I was hoping I could do a good job this morning and to win my heat against some of the best girls in the world was fantastic.

'Obviously they probably were a bit tired from the 400 last night, but who cares'

The Loughborough swimmer was inspired by Rebecca Adlington's bronze medal in the 400m freestyle while her boyfriend Liam Tancock will go in the 100m backstroke final with Gemma Spofforth in the women's equivalent.

She added: 'I took massive inspiration from that and used the crowd this morning.'

Catching a wave: Caitlin McClatchey is in the semi-finals of the women's 200m freestyle

Catching a wave: Caitlin McClatchey is in the semi-finals of the women's 200m freestyle

Of Tancock's chances, she said: 'I really hope he's going to do well. I don't know if im going to be able to watch the whole race without my hands covering my eyes but I am really looking forward to it and hope he can get a medal.'

Turner was in the same heat as defending champion Federica Pellegrini who, as in Beijing, finished fifth in the 400m.

The Italian impressed this morning to lead the way in 1:57.16, 0.17secs ahead of Allison Schmitt, who set a textile world record at the US trials last month and who was second over 400m.

Turner, though, was always off the pace and her time of 1:58.98 was more than 1.3secs off the personal best she set in this pool earlier this year.

It was only good enough for 17th as she was edged out by two hundredths of a second by Beijing silver medallist Sara Isakovic.

Not this time: Sophie Allen failed to go through in the 200m individual medley

Not this time: Sophie Allen failed to go through in the 200m individual medley

The City of Sheffield swimmer said: 'I don't know where it went wrong, we have all been training so hard. It was just not my day.'

There was further disappointment in the men's 200m butterfly.

Like Turner, Roebuck was two hundredths of a second outside qualification in 1:56.99.

The Rotherham-born swimmer was ill last month and felt that may have hindered his chances, saying: 'I had been ill and missed a bit of training but no excuses, no-one has a perfect Olympic cycle. But I guess it influenced me more than I thought.'

Medal mission: Liam Tancock is in the final of the 100m backstroke

Medal mission: Liam Tancock is in the final of the 100m backstroke

Pavoni was 13th in Saturday's 400m individual medley, his favoured event, and today finished 20th in 1:57.55.

The Loughborough swimmer was in the same heat as 14-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps in both events, and he said: 'It's been a great experience, both my races I was in the same heat as Phelps.

'I watched him at Athens and Beijing and he was always a superstar so it's great to catch some races with him towards the end of his career.'

London 2012 Olympics: Ye Shiwen gets people talking

The return of the Chinese whispers: 400m marvel Ye sets tongues wagging

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 29 July 2012

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When Patrick Miley prepared his daughter Hannah for this Olympics, he focused much of his attention on the American who beat her to last year's world title.

He knew everything about Elizabeth Beisel, even down to how many strokes she takes in each of the four disciplines that make up the 400 metres individual medley.

But what the Mileys did not see coming, what nobody saw coming, was the 16-year-old Chinese girl who smashed a world record that was set in the now banned bodysuits and beat Beisel by nearly three seconds.

Record breaker: Ye Shiwen (pictured) won the 400m freestyle as Hannah Miley finished in fifth

Record breaker: Ye Shiwen (pictured) won the 400m freestyle as Hannah Miley finished in fifth

In winning the 200m individual medley at last year's World Championships at the age of 15, the powerfully built Ye Shiwen had already made something of an impact on the global stage.

But she was fifth in the longer event, almost seven seconds down on the stunning performance at the London Aquatics Centre on Saturday night.

Most extraordinary of all, she swam the last 50m of her race quicker than Ryan Lochte had to win gold in the corresponding men's race.

Ye covered that final length in 28.83sec, compared to Lochte's time of 29.10.

Her last 100m was not too shabby either: 58.68 compared to Lochte's 58.65.

Lochte, one of the finest swimmers the world has ever seen, was asked about Ye after encountering the first Chinese man to win an Olympic gold – the winner of the 400m freestyle, Sun Yang – in the 200m freestyle on Sunday morning.

'If she was there with me she might have beaten me,' said Lochte with a smile. 'We were talking about it at dinner.'

Disappointment: Miley apologised for letting the country down after failing to get on the podium

Disappointment: Miley apologised for letting the country down after failing to get on the podium

Miley and her father had been preparing for the challenge of Elizabeth Beisel

Miley and her father had been preparing for the challenge of Elizabeth Beisel

Everyone is talking about it: about the fact that Ye's time would have won the men's event at the 1972 Olympics; about the fact that she could have gone even faster had she not failed to complete an underwater stroke on her final breaststroke.

It has the world of swimming whispering the same concerns that have too often arisen around Chinese sport.

Although Ye has never tested positive for any banned substances, the fact that, since the Nineties, so many Chinese swimmers have been caught using performance-enhancing drugs has inevitably raised the issue, whether justified or not.

Only last month, it emerged that 16-year-old Li Zhesi had tested positive for erythropoietin, the blood doping drug that has been favoured by so many cyclists, claiming the lives of some due to cardiac arrest.

The Chinese did not consider Li, a double world champion in the 4x100m medley relay, too young to be put on such a programme and one now has to wonder how extensive a programme that is.

Another medal: China's Sun Yang of celebrates after winning the Men's 400m Freestyle

Another medal: China's Sun Yang of celebrates after winning the Men's 400m Freestyle

Last week a retired Chinese Olympic doctor claimed Chinese Olympians were subjected to a state-sponsored doping regime modelled on eastern Europe.

'It was rampant in the 1980s,' Xue Yinxian told Fairfax Media in her Beijing home. 'One had to accept it.'

The Chinese women went from nothing to four golds at the 1992 World Championships and the 1992 Olympics, following that with 12 golds at the 1994 worlds. At the 1994 Asian Games, 11 Chinese women swimmers tested positive for dihydrotestosterone.

At the 1998 World Championships in Perth, four swimmers tested positive and another, Yuan Yuan, was caught carrying human growth hormone vials in her luggage.

Proud: 16-year-old Ye smashed the world record in the event

Proud: 16-year-old Ye smashed the world record in the event

Mediocrity followed the scandals, and at their home Games four years ago China won just one gold and six swimming medals in total.

But one of their main contenders, Ouyang Kunpeng, tested positive a few months before the Games and was one of seven Chinese swimmers to be exposed as a drug cheat in 2008.

Worryingly for her rivals, Ye says she can go even faster. 'There's much room for improvement,' she said. 'It's true for breaststroke I am lagging behind but I think my freestyle result is also not that good.'

Lochte would disagree and so would Miley. After finishing fifth in a race that saw another Chinese swimmer take bronze behind Ye and Beisel, Miley felt the need to apologise for letting people down and burst into tears.

She needn't have. She and her father just came up against something they never saw coming. 'The problem is we don't see them all year,' said Miley.

London 2012 Olympics: Ryan Lochte threatened by Sun Yang

Move over Phelps, there's a new All-American hero but Rising Sun is greatest threat for rapid Ryan

By
Matt Lawton

PUBLISHED:

22:24 GMT, 29 July 2012

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UPDATED:

22:26 GMT, 29 July 2012

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Ryan Lochte might well have sparked a revolution in swimming training, proving that flipping giant tyres and dragging chains does work when it comes to winning gold medals and beating Michael Phelps.

But the desire to emulate Phelps and dominate men’s swimming at this Olympics in the manner his fellow American did four years ago could be difficult.

The first setback actually came on Sunday night, when he was caught and passed by France’s Yannick Agnel in the final leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay.

His three American colleagues, among them Phelps, had handed him a commanding lead. But Lochte was unable to hold off Agnel, France taking gold with the American multi-medal collectors forced to settle for silver.

Second best: Adrian Nathan, Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones and Michael Phelps with the silver medals won on day two

Second best: Adrian Nathan, Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones and Michael Phelps with the silver medals won on day two

A further challenge will now follow for Lochte, this time in the form of China’s Sun Yang.

As well as winning the women’s 400m individual medley on the first night of finals at the London Aquatics centre, China celebrated their first male swimming gold.

Sun was immense in the 400m freestyle, crushing the reigning Olympic and world champion, Tae-Hwan Park, with a time that was only 0.07sec down on a world record set with the now-banned bodysuits.

Swimming experts consider Sun the perfect freestyler. The stroke is immaculate, the 6ft 6in frame ideal.

But it remained a stunning performance when it represented more than a three second improvement on his silver medal swim in Shanghai last year.

It was there, in the same meet, that he also destroyed the one swimming record to have survived the tech-suit era; the 1500m mark set by Australian giant Grant Hackett 10 years earlier.

In touching in 14min 34.14sec, Sun shaved almost half a second off Hackett’s best while also finishing 10 seconds clear of the silver medal swim. It no doubt helps that Sun now trains in Australia under the guidance of Hackett’s former coach, Denis Cotterell.

Whether Sun can be as successful at the shorter distances remains to be seen, but he kicked off yesterday by going head-to-head with Lochte in the heats of the 200m freestyle and beating the world champion.

Swimming anatomy

On Sunday they progressed through different semi-finals — with Sun raising a single finger in the air to mark qualifying as the fastest of the eight finalists — and this evening they will meet again in what promises to be another fascinating encounter. Lochte insisted there was no cause for alarm after his morning swim, complaining he remained tired from his efforts the previous evening and a late night. ‘I did not get to bed until 2am,’ he said.

Whatever happens this evening, Lochte will win more golds. He is unstoppable in the 200m backstroke and a clear favourite to beat Phelps and the rest of the field again in the 200m individual medley.

‘This is my year,’ he said with a smile that revealed the diamond-studded mouth jewellery he likes to wear. ‘I know it and I feel it, because I’ve put in hard work. I’ve trained my butt off for four years and there’s no better way to start this Olympics off than getting gold.’

For Phelps, what happens now is less certain. He arrived in London as favourite in the 100m and 200m butterfly, but in the medley he did not look his usual imperious self.

Threat: Sun Yang celebrates winning his men's 200m freestyle semi-final

Threat: Sun Yang celebrates winning his men's 200m freestyle semi-final

It was a poor imitation of a once great champion who had slipped to fourth by the end, but the signs it was going to happen may have been there when he gave that press conference at the Main Press Centre last week.

After amassing 14 gold medals already — and 17 medals in total — Phelps might just be lacking in hunger at the grand old age of 27.

When he spoke of ‘being here to have fun’ he did not sound like a man determined to see off the challenge of Lochte. When he spoke of it being his ‘last ever’ 400IM — a killer of a race he openly admits he has never enjoyed — it sounded like he was even struggling to drag himself on to the starting block.

It was horrible,’ Phelps told his coach, Bob Bowman, when he climbed out of the water. ‘It was,’ came the reply.

The duel in the pool it most certainly was not, with Phelps complaining afterwards of tired legs he only hopes recover enough to allow him to retire in some style at the end of these Games.

By last night there were some more encouraging signs, not least the time Phelps recorded on his relay leg. He was second only to Agnel, touching in a blistering 47.15 that was more than half a second quicker than Lochte.

The silver medal, however, was have been less welcome.

London 2012 Olympics: Watch BBC video highlights from day one

Watch BBC video highlights from day one at the Olympics

PUBLISHED:

00:04 GMT, 29 July 2012

|

UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 29 July 2012

Great Britain were made to wait for a first medal on day one of London 2012 with favourite Mark Cavendish finishing 40 seconds behind men's road race winner Alexandr Vinokourov.

At the Aquatic Centre, Hannah Miley was fifth in a thrilling 400metres individual medley final but the USA's Ryan Lochte drew first blood in his eagerly-anticipated duel in the pool with Michael Phelps in the 400m freestyle.

You can watch highlights on the video player below…

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London 2012 Olympics: Ryan Lochte wins 400m individual medley

Lochte leaves rest for dead in 400m medley as fallen giant Phelps misses out on medal

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UPDATED:

18:44 GMT, 28 July 2012

Ryan Lochte clinched America's first gold medal of the Olympics with a dominant display in the 400m individual medley.

Michael Phelps could only finish fourth as Thiago Pereira took the silver and Kosuke Hagino finished third.

Full report to follow….

Cruise control: Ryan Lochte was outstanding in his first final of The Games

Cruise control: Ryan Lochte was outstanding in his first final of The Games

London 2012 Olympics: Michael Phelps into 400m final

First blood to Lochte as Phelps scrapes through to 400m individual medley final

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UPDATED:

10:34 GMT, 28 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Defending champion Michael Phelps only just scraped through to the 400 metres individual medley on the first morning of Olympic competition as Brits Roberto Pavoni and Joe Roebuck failed to make it through.

Pavoni, who grew up just down the road in Harold Wood, will have been disappointed not to have made it given he reached the final of the World Championships last year in Shanghai.

Instead he finished 13th with Roebuck 24th although there was almost a huge shock as Phelps only just made it through in eighth while Beijing silver medallist Laszlo Cseh was edged out.

That was close! Michael Phelps reacts to scraping into the 400m individual medley final

That was close! Michael Phelps reacts to scraping into the 400m individual medley final

Fastest through was Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino while world champion Ryan Lochte recorded the third best time although he was clearly easing down when caught by South Africa's Chad Le Clos.

Roebuck was the first home swimmer in the pool and his appearance behind the blocks was greeted by a huge cheer at the Aquatics Centre.

The Rotherham-born swimmer led after the opening butterfly leg but he fell behind on the backstroke, to turn seventh at the halfway point.

The Loughborough ITC athlete then found himself in eighth with 100m to go and could not make any inroads to touch in four minutes 20.24 seconds although a disqualification bumped him up.

Pavoni was alongside Beijing triple silver medallist Cseh and one removed from Phelps.

The 21-year-old produced a strong breaststroke leg to find himself in fifth going into the final freestyle 100m.

Fifth at the last turn, he clawed away and managed to touch in fourth in 4:15.56.

Phelps
had vowed never to contest the event again after Beijing but after
qualifying at the US trials last month, the Baltimore swimmer decided to
give it one last go.

Record books: Phelps hopes to become the most decorated Olympian of all time

Record books: Phelps hopes to become the most decorated Olympian of all time

Record books: Phelps hopes to become the most decorated Olympian of all time

His appearance prompted an ovation as he commenced his final Olympic programme, retirement beckoning after London.

First after a commanding butterfly,
it was Hungarian Cseh who entered the final freestyle leg first, but the
American clawed it back to touch in 4:13.33, ahead by 0.07.

Cseh's failure to progress was a shock and Phelps will breathe a sigh of relief that he edged through.

While
Phelps has already secured 14-time Olympic titles, it is Lochte whose
star has risen over the last couple of years, culminating in five golds
in Shanghai last summer.

The
Florida-based swimmer won last month's US trials and he looked fearsome
this morning. Despite being caught by Le Clos at the touch, the
American was clearly easing down to touch in 4:12.35.

Roebuck said he found out last night he was the first Briton when he saw the start sheet.

'I didn't think about it really until this morning and thought it was kind of cool.'

Of the atmosphere, Roebuck added: 'I think it'll only get better throughout the week.

'It did feel fantastic to walk out there and be the first guy for British swimming this weekend.

'Just a bit disappointed for everybody else that I didn't kick it off with a swim that everybody would have wanted.'

Over and out: Brits Roberto Pavoni (above) and Joe Roebuck (below) failed to make the final

Over and out: Brits Roberto Pavoni (above) and Joe Roebuck (below) failed to make the final

Over and out: Brits Roberto Pavoni (above) and Joe Roebuck (below) failed to make the final

Phelps said: 'I didn't expect those guys to go that fast.

'I just wanted to try to get some good underwater, try to get some good times.

'A final spot is a final spot.

'I was slower this morning than I was four years ago, so I guess that's probably the only difference.

'I think the only thing that matters is really getting a spot in.

'You can't win the gold medal from the morning.'

Lochte said it had not been his best race.

'I'm glad I got the cobwebs out. All I had to do was get a lane for tonight, so I'm very happy.

On his friend and rival Phelps, Lochte said: 'It's a tough field but he's in, so you can't count him out, even though he just squeaked in in eighth place.

In form: Ryan Lochte swam the third fastest time in the heats (above) but Laszlo Cseh (below) crashed out

In form: Ryan Lochte swam the third fastest time in the heats (above) but Laszlo Cseh (below) crashed out

Hungary's Laszlo Cseh

'He's a racer and we're going to do everything we can to go one-two tonight.'

Fran Halsall was the first British woman to make it into the pool in heat four of the 100m butterfly.

The Loughborough ITC swimmer's favourite event is the 100m freestyle which comes later in the week.

On Saturday she was second in her heat in 58.23 and eighth overall going into the evening's semi-finals.

Ellen Gandy, fancied for a medal in the 200m butterfly after world silver last year, was also second in the following heat in 58.25, going through in ninth.

However, American Dana Vollmer made a statement of intent, the 2011 world champion setting a new Olympic record of 56.25, 0.19 outside Sarah Sjostrom's 2009 world record set during the shiny suit debacle.