By Swimming World
LONDON, England: Ryan Lochte completed a successful double, advancing in both the 200 back and 200 IM tonight, including taking the top seed in the men's 200-meter IM at the 2012 London Olympics.
In semifinal one, with Michael Phelps in the same heat, Lochte turned in a 1:56.13. That swim cleared Phelps' Olympic textile best of 1:57.14 set at the 2004 Athens Olympics, putting Phelps' overall Olympic record (1:54.32) next on the list. Lochte qualified second in the 200 back earlier in the evening as he looks to add to his overall medal haul of nine in his career.
Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, who has won three silver medals behind Phelps, all at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is working to break through that glass ceiling. He qualified second in 1:56.74, just off his silver-winning time of 1:56.52 from 2008. If he can pull off the upset, he would join Tamas Darnyi and Attila Czene as Hungarians to win the title.
Phelps posted a third-seeded time of 1:57.11, and is now in the first-man-to-threepeat slot after Kosuke Kitajima missed the podium in the men's 200 breaststroker earlier tonight. Phelps, who already became the most decorated Olympian of all time with his 19th medal last night, has one more unprecedented goal to attain -- a male threepeat. Only Dawn Fraser and Krisztina Egerszegi have won three straight gold medals in a single event. No male has done so.
Brazil's Thiago Pereira (1:57.45), Japan's Kosuke Hagino (1:57.95), Japan's Ken Takakuwa (1:58.31), Great Britain's James Goddard (1:58.49) and South Africa's Chad le Clos (1:58.49) all earned spots in the championship finale.
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