Lochte sets 1st world record since suit ban

Updated: 2011-07-29 08:02

By Sun Xiaochen (China Daily)

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Lochte sets 1st world record since suit ban

US swimmer Ryan Lochte reacts after winning the final of the men's 200-meter individual medley at the FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on Thursday. Lochte won the event in a world record time in 1 min 54.00 sec. [Photo by Cui Meng / China Daily]

SHANGHAI - Star American swimmer Ryan Lochte claimed the 200m individual medley gold medal in one minute, 54 second at the Shanghai Worlds on Thursday, the first world-record time at the event since FINA banned high-tech suits last year.

Lochte improved his own record time by 0.1 of a second and just beat out compatriot Michael Phelps by 0.16 sec while Hungarian Laszlo Cseh finished third (3.69 sec behind the winner).

Proving "it is still breakable out of the suits", Lochte said his delight was too difficult to express.

"One made-up word to describe that race, it's 'Yeah'," Lochte told a packed mixed zone emotionally after the scintillating race.

"It was definitely something I wanted to do as everyone thought it was impossible (to break records) since they banned the suits. After that, everyone said the world record wouldn't be touched again. I just wanted to show everyone that it can happen," said Lochte, who first broke the event's short-course world record at last year's World Cup in Dubai after FINA announced the ban of the ultra-buoyant suits in July 2009.

Lochte sets 1st world record since suit ban

Gold medallist Ryan Lochte (R) of the US poses with his compatriot silver medallist Michael Phelps after the men's 200m individual medley at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai, July 28, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

"All the hard work and dedication paid off. Hopefully, everyone now can realize it's still possible and a lot more records will fall," said Lochte, who upset superstar Phelps to grab his first gold in the 200m freestyle on July 26.

After beating Olympic gold medal king Phelps twice at the Shanghai meet, Lochte says he is capable of replacing his teammate as America's top swimmer. But the 26-year-old New York native said he still has room for improvement.

"I am far from a perfect race. It was a solid time for me from where I am and it will definitely give me a confidence boost for the Olympics Games," Lochte said.

China Daily

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