Dubai, world s/c championships, day 5 finals:
Ryan Lochte raced in a league of his own way ahead of the generation he left behind on the way to taking his fourth gold medal of the championships in a 1:46.68 championship record and a best ever in a textile suit ahead of his own 1:49.05 standard. The effort also fell only 0.57sec shy of the shiny suit world mark set in November 2009 by Arkady Vyatchanin (RUS) on the eve of the ban on non-textile suits.
The silver went to to teammate Tyler Clary in 1:49.09, with Markus Rogan (AUT) getting the edge in the battle for bronze in 1:49.96, just 0.04sec ahead of Aschwin Wildeboer (ESP), with Ryosuke Irie a further 0.17sec adrift.
Lochte left nothing to chance, surging into an early lead, turning in 25.65 on his way to a 52.91 half-way split, Clary the closest on 53.54, all four following the leader within 0.8sec of each other. There was a shift on the third 50m, Wildeboer and Ryosuke struggling under the weight of pressure, Rogan turning the screw, Clary able to respond. But the man up front was in a different race 1.65sec ahead of his teammate, who led the rest.
By the close, Lochte, coached by Gregg Troy in Florida, left all for wreckage on a runway, 2.42sec ahead of silver. Sensational. "I think I could have gone a little faster," Lochte would say later after emerging from another gold in the short medley."
Clary paid plaudits to the king and noted the learning curve he is blessed to be on, saying: "I don't think I could have done anything different, I couldn't have done a whole lot more swimming in the same events as Ryuan, especially with the way he's swimming just now. He's incredible. I had my eye on his the whole time, I wanted to be a little closer to him, particularly at the half-way point. I have learned a lot from him but I know I have a lot more to learn."
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 3
Records (TB = best ever in a textile suit)
Most world records in this event (since specific 25m records began in 1991): 2
All-time textile rankings top 5:
From the archive:
Gilbert Bozon (FRA) was the last man to hold a world record over 200m backstroke with a time established in what would become known as a short-course pool. He clocked 2:18.3 in Tangiers on June 26,1953 - and that's where the mark stood until FINA's May 1, 1957 ruling came into force: world records could only be set in pools 50m long. John Monkton (AUS) held the first two standards of the new era in times a touch slower than Bozon's best, the first man to get inside the Frenchman's time Frank McKinny (USA), with a 2:17.9 at Los Altos on July 12, 1959.