Ryan Lochte Finishes 7th in 200M IM Finals, Fails to Qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 19, 2021

Ryan Lochte checks his time after competing in a men's 200-meter individual medley semifinal heat during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Ryan Lochte's quest to make the United States team for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo is over.

The 36-year-old finished seventh with a time of 1:59.67 in the men's 200-meter individual medley on Friday at the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska. A top-two finish was required for him to punch a ticket to Tokyo, and it quickly became apparent that wouldn't be on the cards.

Michael Andrew (1:55.44) and Chase Kalisz (1:56.97) led the way.

#TokyoOlympics @NBCOlympics

Michael Andrew is UNSTOPPABLE.@SwimmerMichael with an incredible performance to win the men's 400 IM.@USASwimming | #SwimTrials21 x #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/E0DiLiUKNA

SwimSwam @swimswamnews

FINAL results, Men's 200 IM:<br>1. Michael Andrew - 1:55.44<br>2. Chase Kalisz - 1:56.97<br>3. Kieran Smith - 1:57.23<br>4. Carson Foster - 1:57.99<br>5. Sam Stewart - 1:58.02<br>6. Andrew Seliskar - 1:58.35<br>7. Ryan Lochte - 1:59.67<br>8. Trenton Julian - 2:04.49#SwimTrials21

During his post-race interview, Lochte hinted at his continued involvement in competitive races, though this was probably his last crack at the Olympics given his age.

Braden Keith @Braden_Keith

Ryan Lochte says "this isn't the end of the road" in post-race interview. It's the end of his meet, but sounds like he's going to carry on past Tokyo. #swimtrials21

He qualified for Friday's final after finishing with the sixth-best time (1:58.65) during the semifinal heats.

That left him as a bit of an outsider to make the Team USA roster. The Washington Post's Dave Sheinin noted how he hadn't enjoyed a sub-1:57 200-meter individual medley since 2016. It turned out that's exactly what was required to guarantee a second-place outcome.

Competing in a fifth Summer Olympics would've been a monumental achievement, but Lochte's legacy is already cemented. He's a six-time Olympic gold medalist and has collected 12 medals in the pool.

Michael Phelps casts quite a shadow for his peers, but Lochte will unquestionably be remembered as one of the best American swimmers of his generation.


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