Phelps Tops Lochte in Individual Medley, Soni Takes Breaststroke

Michael Phelps touched the wall nine- hundredths of a second ahead of Ryan Lochte as both swimmers earned London Olympics starts in the 200-meter individual medley.

Phelps led throughout the race, finishing in 1 minute, 54.84 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials yesterday in Omaha, Nebraska.

“It feels good to be back on that side, but I’m sure that’s not going to be the end of us going back and forth,” Phelps told reporters. “I’m just happy to be able to have a good race like that, kind of fold it all together.”

Lochte took first in the 200-meter backstroke in 1 minute, 54.54 seconds. Tyler Clary was second in 1 minute, 54.88 seconds.

Lochte, 27, beat Phelps in their first meeting of the trials -- the 400-meter individual medley, in which Phelps is the defending Olympic champion and Lochte the world champion. Phelps then topped Lochte in the 200-meter freestyle final.

The two face each other again today in the 100-meter butterfly final.

Rebecca Soni won the 200-meter breaststroke, posting a time of 2 minutes, 21.13 seconds. First-time Olympian Micah Lawrence was second at 2 minutes, 23.03 seconds.

‘Little Nervous’

“I’m always a little nervous to push it too soon,” Soni said. “I felt great the first 100, nice and long.”

Swimming finals will be held today in the women’s 200-meter backstroke and 800-meter freestyle and the men’s 50-meter freestyle.

In gymnastics at San Jose, California, Danell Leyva and John Orozco earned spots in the Olympic Games by finishing first and second in the all-around and recording three or more top three finishes in the individual event standings.

“It’s surreal, super unbelievable,” Leyva said. “It’s crazy to say that I just finished my first Olympic Trials. I’m so glad to be here. The crowd was amazing, all of the guys were amazing.”

Leyva posted a four-day combined score of 368.350, followed by Orozco at 367.400, and Jonathan Horton at 361.500.

The remaining members of the men’s gymnastics team will be named today, while the final day of the women’s competition also is scheduled.

In track and field, Allyson Felix won the women’s 200-meter sprint in a time of 21.69 seconds in Eugene, Oregon. Carmelita Jeter was second in 22.11 seconds and Sanya Richards-Ross was third at 22.22.

In the men’s 110-meter hurdles, Aries Merritt finished first in 12.93 seconds, ahead of Jason Richardson in 12.98 seconds and Jeffrey Porter in 13.08.

Today’s finals include the women’s and men’s 400-meter hurdles, the women’s 1500-meter run, and the men’s 1500-meter run and 200-meter sprint.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at nkercheval@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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