Jason Devaney, NBC Olympics
LONDON – Ryan Lochte is a swimmer, but he’s shooting for a triple-double at the Olympics.
Don’t worry though, he’s not switching sports midway through the Games. He’s just had some really hard sessions at the London Aquatics Centre.
Lochte swam two races Wednesday morning – heats in the 200m backstroke and 200m IM – and then swam semifinals in both events at night. Thursday night, he’ll compete in both finals. Six races in two days.
What’s worse, there’s only 31 minutes between the start of the 200m backstroke final and the 200m IM.
“The double is going to be tough but I’ve done the training so I feel good,” Lochte said after his Wednesday morning swims.
Not only has he worked on doubles in practice, he actually swam a triple –three races! – during one evening session at the Olympic Trials a month ago. He swam the 200m backstroke final, 200m IM final and the 100m butterfly semifinals all in about an hour. He won the 200m back and was second in the 200m IM and amazingly made the 100m fly final.
Lochte gingerly walked off the pool deck after his second swim that night. After his third swim he had to sit down before walking down the stairs. He was completely drained of energy. He and his coach Gregg Troy said it was great training for him.
Lochte only had time to answer one question tonight, and it wasn’t about his double. But Michael Phelps, who he will face in the 200m IM, spoke about his friendly rival’s undertaking.
“He has a tough turnaround, a tough double tomorrow,” Phelps said. “So hopefully we go out there and put on a good race. I’m sure we will. I felt fine today. Just pretty much trying to stay in the middle of the pool from now on.”
Lochte’s meet could be over after his double tomorrow. He’s a long shot to be named to the 4x100m medley relay team, which races Saturday night – the last day of pool swimming in London.
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