By: Tucker Harrington
Whether the Olympians will admit it or not, there is certainly some competition between American swimmers Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps. The friendly feud was abruptly brought to a close as Lochte blew past Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley by more than 3 seconds on July 28. The Associated Press reports Phelps didn’t even secure a spot on the Awards podium as he came in fourth.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the two swimmers, Phelps has admitted this will be his last go at the Olympics as the athlete is ready to have new experiences outside of the pool once competition is over. However, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t hoping to come out on top, though his performances have proved his time out of the pool may have been too much.
AOL Sporting News reports the performances from Phelps thus far may prove it’s a good time for him to retire, though he’s had quite a good run. Phelps didn’t miss a day in the pool from 1998 to the Athens games in 2004. He didn’t miss many between then and the 2008 games in Beijing either. However after that, he took some time to himself and admitted he didn’t know if he wanted to swim professionally ever again. Phelps jumped into a life of relaxing and hanging out with friends, but ultimately decided he wanted to be in one last Olympics.
The 400-meter race was not something he was proud of, but he’s already moving on and looking to the next race, the AP reports.
“It was just a crappy race,” Phelps told the news outlet. “I felt fine the first 200, then I don’t know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That’s why they’re on the medal stand.”
Lochte took home gold in the event, though he knows he needs to watch his back, as Phelps is still one of the strongest competitors in the pool.
BleacherReport.com reports despite the hardship Phelps faced in the 400-meter race, he should still be able to break the record for most Olympic medals in history. He needs just three more medals – gold, silver or bronze, to break the record of 18, which is held by former Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina.