Ryan Lochte: It wasn't enough
Photo: Rob Schumacher / USA TODAY Sports
It would have been his fifth Olympic Games, but Ryan Lochte did not get past seventh in the final of the eight fastest US swimmers over 200 meters.
The US swimming star hit the final on his parade course after 1: 59.67 minutes and was more than five seconds above his ten-year-old best time, the world record that is still valid today.
Lochte had put nothing less than his reputation on this event and qualifying for the Games. At the age of 36, he wanted to prove himself once again in terms of sport and thus save his legacy as the most highly decorated swimmer after the record Olympic athlete Michael Phelps. He was firmly convinced: Only that can come from the scandal professional, who has been banned twice since the 2016 Olympics - ten months for a fictitious robbery after a night of partying at the Rio Games and 14 months for a vitamin infusion that was forbidden in the crowd make the swimming hero he wants to be remembered as.
"I really wanted to be on this Olympic team," Lochte said afterwards.
“This is probably the most important competition I've had in my entire career, the one that means the most to me.
Failing and feeling like I let everyone down was really tough. "
How difficult it would be for the father of two to say goodbye to his life as a swimmer without a finale on the big stage under the five rings, was repeatedly heard in interviews.
Even now he said: "This is not the end, there is a lot more I want to achieve in swimming, be it in the pool or outside, to make swimming bigger." Lochte even made another attempt for the fifth games not entirely.
At the trials for Paris 2024 he would be almost 39 years old.
Tickets go to Andrew and Kalisz
Michael Andrew (1: 55.44 minutes) and Chase Kalisz (1: 56.97) secured the two available places for Tokyo at the trials in Omaha, Nebraska.
For the 22-year-old Andrew, who had stayed below Lochte's record of 2011 until the last crawl lane, this was the second ticket after qualifying over 100 meters chest.
Kalisz, double world champion in 2017, had already swum over 400 meters into the US Olympic team.