The American swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte ended 1st and 2nd respectively in the 200-meter individual medley semifinal on Wednesday night at the Rio Olympics.
The 25-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps and 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte will be sharing the pool once again during Thursday’s final. Three favorites competed at the 200-meter individual medley semifinal to obtain lanes number four and five on Thursday. The shark of Baltimore Michael Phelps came in first. He has already obtained three gold medals in Rio 2016. The New Yorker Ryan Lochte finished in second place with a time of 1:56.28, while Phelps achieved a time of 1:55.78.
The Brazilian favorite Thiago Pereira came in third with a time of 1:57.11. He will be joining Phelps and Lochte during the final race. Pereira was warmly cheered by the crowd when his name was pronounced at the Aquatics Stadium.
Thursday’s night race could be a scenario for swimming’s great rivalries. Phelps will be racing against the South African Chad Le Clos: a contender that has always put some sugar on the competition when he goes against the American.
Friends and rivals Phelps and Lochte will be competing for the same medal. Both have shared pool as U.S.A. teammates. During the 200 and 400 individual medleys, both have shown that is their rivalry what pushes them to give their best on races.
“Ryan and I always have great races against one another. He and I have been racing each other since 2004. I think when we race, we bring each other to a different level. We take each other to that next step,” Phelps said.
In turn, Lochte attributed his evolution as a swimmer, to the opportunities that he has had of competing against Phelps. He added that both of them encourage each other to bring out the best of their skills.
Phelps said he is excited about the finals, not only for what means to be in Olympics finals but also for the rivals he will be meeting in the pool. The 31-year-old has said this is possibly his last Olympic Game, so he wants to give fans a grand finale.
The U.S.A. basketball men’s team cheers the U.S.A. swimming team
Phelps and Lochte have gained the support of thousands of fans and personalities from the entertainment business. Matthew Mc Conaughey supported the U.S.A. swimming team during Wednesday’s night race. Also, the U.S.A. basketball men’s team has cheered them since the Olympics began.
Members of teams from both sports have published on their Instagram accounts photos to express each other support during the Olympics at Rio. The U.S.A. basketball men’s team has projected itself as a high-profile follower of Phelps and his teammates during 2016’s races.