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Los Angeles (AFP) - Olympic champion Ryan Lochte cruised to victory in the 400-meter individual medley at the Arena Pro Swim Series.
The 31-year-old American star never looked in danger as he surged home in 4min 16.92sec to delight the crowd at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, South Carolina.
"That win tonight hurt but on (the) bright side, it's Friday," Lochte quipped on Twitter shortly after his victory.
Lochte, the short course world record holder over the 400 medley, finished two seconds clear of Tomas Peribonio, with Michael Weiss coming home in third.
This week's meeting had suffered a blow after US swim star Michael Phelps withdrew from the competition following the birth of his son.
However other Olympic gold medalists were in action on Friday including 100m butterfly champion and world record holder Dana Vollmer.
Vollmer clocked 57.23sec, just over a second clear of Canadian teenager Penny Oleksiak.
Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, a gold medalist at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, was third in the 50m backstroke, finishing behind Ali Deloof and Kylie Masse.