Michael Phelps and his record 14 gold medals were guaranteed to be the primary topic of discussion leading up to the 2012 Olympics in London.
But ever since Phelps struggled to qualify for the 400-meter individual medley on the first day of action, we've all become increasingly aware of the other star swimming for the USA—Ryan Lochte.
While Phelps barely qualified for the 400-meter medley and ultimately finished fourth, Lochte was able to pull off the upset and win the gold medal with a time of four minutes, 5.18 seconds.
As soon as that happened, it was clear that Phelps has company in London.
But it's not always a competition between the two of them. In the 4x400-meter relay, the two swimmers were representing the United States as members of the same team.
In the qualification round, the USA finished their heat in second place (3:12.59). They just barely fell behind Australia (3:12.29).
The second-place finish was enough to advance to the final round for a shot at the gold, but they fell short once again.
USA finished second (3:10.38) and lost to France (3:09.93). They'll be taking home a silver medal, but it was an event they were expected to win.
Ryan Lochte Looking to Rebound From Loss With 200-Meter Freestyle Victory
Ryan Lochte fell short in the 4x400-meter relay, but now he'll have the chance to work solo once again in the 200-meter freestyle.
During the heats, Lochte finished second in his group (1:46.45) and moved on to the semifinals, where he fell behind German world record holder Paul Biedermann (1:45.10), but still managed another second-place finish (1:46.31).
Lochte will move on to the finals on Monday, July 30, and will attempt to win his second gold medal.
To come out on top, Lochte will have to not only beat Biedermann, but he'll need to out-swim China's Sun Yang, who had the top qualifying time (1:45.61).
It's certainly stiff competition, but he has already performed like a champion up this point, so anything is possible.
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