It was widely speculated that Ryan Lochte would be the Olympian to beat in London this year, with Michael Phelps seemingly losing his mojo and Lochte ready to steal that throne as the best U.S. swimmer.
So, far it's been just the opposite.
With two events left, the 200-meter backstroke and 200 individual, there is still plenty of time for Lochte to show us all why he was the guy to beat this year.
While Lochte has found success in a few events, he has also come up disappointing in a few others.
Already losing to Yannick Agnel in the 4x100-meter freestyle to go along with a fourth place in the 200-meter freestyle, Lochte had a couple of redeeming efforts in his 400 individual medley on Saturday, as well as a gold medal in the 400-meter team freestyle event.
Inconsistent would be the perfect word to describe Lochte in London this year. Today is the perfect day to remedy that.
Most notably, all eyes will be on both Phelps and Lochte for the 200 IM. Both have recent successes in the event. In the past two Olympic Games, Phelps has won gold in it and will set a world record if he wins it a third time. Lochte is the world record holder in the event.
But Lochte qualified faster than Phelps, 98-hundredths of a second faster than the famous swimmer.
It's definitely a showdown for the ages.
On the other side of things, the 200 backstroke could also spell doom for Mr. Lochte. Facing up against fellow American Tyler Clary, Lochte is expected to at least win silver. Anything less would be an extreme disappointment for the American swimmer.
Clary already has won the qualifying event, with Lochte coming in at only 0.12 seconds behind.
It all comes down to today, which may end up being the day that defines Lochte's legacy in the games.
With Phelps retiring after these games, Lochte has a chance to solidify his place at the top of the Olympian stratosphere. Beating Phelps and Clary today would be the final rung atop that incredibly impressive ladder.
Can Lochte do it? The world will be watching and ultimately will be the final judge.
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