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Phelps-Lochte matchup highlights day 1 of swimming

LONDON (AP) — The timid star with some-more gold medals than anyone. The accessible opposition who intends to be a biggest star in London.

Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte.

What a approach to start 8 days of swimming during a Olympic pool!

The dual Americans will go head-to-head Saturday in a 400-meter particular medley, a exhausting competition encompassing all 4 strokes, an suitable approach for one or a other to glow a initial storm in this many intriguing of rivalries.

“A really severe race,” pronounced Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, smiling during a possibilities. “It will be a coach’s dream, though also a spectator’s dream. It will be fantastic.”

For Phelps, it’s a possibility to supplement to his record sum of 14 bullion medals and turn a initial masculine swimmer to win a same eventuality during 3 true Olympics. But Lochte is a fortifying universe champion and degraded Phelps rather simply during a U.S. trials final month.

Lochte is positively not lacking for confidence.

“Right after Beijing, we had a four-year devise for removing here to London,” he said. “I suspicion we could go a lot faster. we knew we could, usually given of a training I’ve done. That’s because we knew this was going to be my year.”

Lochte started following a same training fast used by rugged athletes who can contest in Strongman competitions — rolling vast tires, tossing kegs, boring chains. He believes it’s finished him stronger than anyone else in a pool. He believes it’s a corner he needs to kick Phelps, and everybody else.

“It’s going to compensate off,” Lochte said. “I usually know it.”

The Phelps-Lochte showdown won’t be a usually eventuality on a opening night of swimming.

The home throng will be entertaining on Britain’s Hannah Miley in a women’s 400 IM, where she’ll be competing opposite American teen Elizabeth Beisel and California-based Katinka Hosszu, a latest in a prolonged line of Hungarian miscellany specialists. The men’s 400 freestyle total to be a scuffle among China’s Sun Yang, South Korea’s Park Tae-hwan and France’s Yannick Angel. Ranomi Kromowidjojo leads a Flying Dutch in a women’s 4×100 giveaway relay, an eventuality a Netherlands won during a final Olympics and a past dual universe championships.

The Americans will demeanour to plea with a send patrol that potentially includes Natalie Coughlin, who won 6 medals in Beijing though didn’t even validate for an particular eventuality for these games. The 29-year-old was knocked off during a U.S. trials by an rising call of teenage stars, including Missy Franklin, though managed to explain a mark on a group as a probable send swimmer by finishing sixth in a 100 free.

Without a clever display in a preliminaries, she competence not even get a possibility to float a dusk final. But, if a Americans finish on a podium, a morning float would be good adequate to give Coughlin a 12th award of her career, restraining Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson as America’s many flashy womanlike Olympian.

But those races are small warmups to a categorical event.

Phelps is chasing some-more story during these games, carrying already claimed a record for many golds — 5 some-more than anyone else — and knocked off Mark Spitz’s iconic Olympic customary with 8 wins in Beijing. Next up: Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who is dual forward of Phelps with 18 career medals. It shouldn’t be too most of a plea for him to take down that record, given he’s got 7 events in London and total to win a award of some tone in any one of them.

Lochte doesn’t mind Phelps winning china or bronze. Those colors don’t seductiveness a laid-back Floridian in a least.

“You should be going in with a mindset of winning,” Lochte said. “That’s what I’m going to be doing any race. I’m going adult there to win. I’m not going for china or bronze, I’m going for gold.”

The winningest Olympian ever will positively have something to contend about that. Phelps struggled to stay encouraged after Beijing, and some muted training showed during final year’s universe championships, where he was beaten by Lochte in both a 200 giveaway and 200 particular medley. But Phelps has clearly regained his racing edge, wanting to go out in character during what he insists will be a final accommodate of his career. He intends to retire as shortly as his final Olympic competition is done.

“Last examination ever,” Phelps tweeted Friday morning, joking that he wouldn’t have to do anymore “garbage yardage” and thanking his manager for running him via his career. “Now let’s have some fun this week.”

Phelps showed he means business by violence Lochte in both a 200 giveaway and a 200 IM during a U.S. trials. While Lochte took a 400 IM, Phelps usually easy that eventuality to his module progressing this year, after vowing to give it adult after Beijing. He total to be faster in London than he was in Omaha.

“It’s always a plea to have things go perfectly,” Phelps said. “For a really initial night, it is going to be a severe race. It’s going to be an sparkling race. Bob and we have altered a few things over a past few weeks, and we’ll see what’s going to occur in that race. we feel confident. Everything feels good.”

Lochte vows he’ll also be a lot faster than he was during a trials.

“I knew that wasn’t my meet,” he said. “That was usually a small appetizer, we guess. This is a large show. This is what I’ve been operative for. we wasn’t operative for trials. we was operative for a Olympics.”

Because of his singular training program, he believes he’s got an corner on everybody during a pool — Phelps included. Lochte is assured that flipping an 850-pound tire 20 or 30 times down a waste Florida highway is usually what he indispensable to hit off a man with all those bullion medals.

“That Strongman stuff, it helped me out a lot,” Lochte said. “I knew no other swimmer was doing a things we was doing. we knew we had an edge. That gave me a certainty that we needed.”

Now, we’ll see if that’s enough.

What an opening night indeed.


Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter during www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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