Can Michael Phelps, do it again in London 2012
Michael Phelps celebrated his 27th birthday in Omaha last night by defeating his great rival Ryan Lochte in the 200m individual medley, as his dream of repeating the eight Olympic gold medals he won in Beijing remains a possibility for London 2012.
Phelps made it 2-1 in his own personal duel with Lochte this week with a narrow victory in the individual medley, touching out 0.09sec ahead of the man from Florida who just half an hour earlier had won the gruelling 200m backstroke final.
Given a slightly more sympathetic programme in London, Lochte, the world record holder in 200 individual medley, could yet reverse that finishing order.
Lochte beat Phelps to second place in the 400 individual medley earlier in the USA trials before losing the 200m freestyle final. The two swimming 'galacticos' will meet again today in the 200m butterfly final in which Phelps qualified fastest and a tiring Lochte qualified sixth fastest.
"We were probably playing the cat-and-mouse game again," said Phelps, after he took the 200 individual medley with a time of 1:54.84. "Then, of course, the last 50 we went crazy."
He said: "It feels good to be back on that side of the result, but I'm sure that's not going to be the end of us going back and forth. I'm sure there's going to be some more races like that over the next few weeks."
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