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Weltz Tops Favorites in 200-Meter Breaststroke at Olympic Trials

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June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Scott Weltz touched the wall ahead of favorites Brendan Hansen and Eric Shanteau in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic trials.

Weltz covered the four lengths in 2 minutes, 9.01 seconds. Clark Burckle finished in 2:09.97 for the second U.S. Olympic spot in the event. American record-holder Shanteau was third and Hansen was fourth at the trials in Omaha, Nebraska, and failed to qualify for the London Games in that event.

“I owe it all to my coach,” Weltz said during a televised interview. “He never stopped believing. He told me every day I could do it.”

Hansen and Shanteau claimed the top two spots in the 100-meter breaststroke earlier in the trials.

“I think you guys are as surprised as I am,” Hansen said. “I can’t believe Eric and I are not swimming the 200. I didn’t think Weltz had it in him. He swam like a big-time swimmer.”

Nathan Adrian won the men’s 100-meter freestyle in 48.10 seconds, followed by Cullen Jones at 48.46 seconds.

“I thought I wouldn’t have nerves going into it, but I was as nervous as ever,” Adrian said.

Cammile Adams touched the wall first in the women’s 200-meter butterfly, covering the distance in 2:06.52. Kathleen Hersey was second in 2:07.72.

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte face each other today in the 200-meter individual medley final, their third and final showdown before the Olympics.

Lochte will swim in the 200-meter backstroke about 20 minutes before he faces Phelps in the individual medley final.

“I’m up for that challenge,” Lochte said. “It’s something I’ve been doing for four years now: challenging myself. I’m definitely ready.”

Lochte, 27, beat Phelps, 26, in their first meeting of the trials -- the 400-meter individual medley, in which Phelps is the Olympic champion and Lochte is the world champion. Phelps then topped Lochte in the 200-meter freestyle final.

Tonight’s other finals are the women’s 100-meter freestyle and the women’s 200-meter breaststroke.

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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