Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte is in the final round.
NBC’s 2012 Olympic TV schedule will feature Team USA’s swimming superstars going head-to-head one last time. They already faced off in the 400-meter individual medley in which Lochte won gold and Phelps left empty-handed. In the 200-meter individual medley, Phelps is sure to put up more of a fight (he couldn’t put up any less of one).
Watch Phelps vs. Lochte on NBC Thursday, August 2nd at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Each athlete didn’t get off to an ideal start to their Olympic campaigns.
While Phelps bombed his first performance, Lochte blew a lead in the final leg of the 4x100-meter relay that cost the U.S. a gold medal. He also failed to medal in the 200-meter freestyle.
Wayne Drehs of ESPN reported that Lochte wasn’t fazed after back-to-back letdowns, though. He said:
Whatever happened last night, happened last night. You have to get over it and move on. Whatever happened tonight…I have a couple of more races left. Just have to forget about it and move on.
While Lochte and Phelps’ matchup in the 400 IM didn’t live up to the hype, the 200 won’t disappoint.
Phelps didn’t even participate in the 400 at the 2011 World Championships. According to Michael Dodd of the USA Today, after winning gold in Beijing, he said that it was the last time he planned to compete in the event. He’s much more prepared for the 200.
Will Phelps bounce back vs. Lochte?
At Worlds, he finished second to Lochte by just 0.16 seconds. At the U.S. Trials, Phelps defeated Lochte by 0.09 seconds. Yeah, unlike in the 400 in which Lochte beat Phelps by over four seconds, expect a photo finish on Thursday.
This is the moment the world has been waiting for. Like Lochte said, forget what happened the past few nights. In the 200 IM, prepare for one of the most memorable races in swimming history.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.