Last year, Michael Phelps' coach called Ryan Lochte the best swimmer of the year. Lochte is making a good case for that title again in 2011, as he beat Phelps to win the 200m freestyle title at the world swimming championships in China on Tuesday.
Lochte won with a time of 1:44.44. Phelps was just 0.35 seconds behind him, with German Paul Biedermann swimming a 1:44.88. None of the swimmers were close to breaking Biedermann's world record of 1:42.00. His record was made when swimmers were allowed to wear high-tech suits. They were outlawed last year, and this is the first major, international meet to feature swimmers wearing traditional suits.
The American teammates turned to Twitter to congratulate each other after the race.
Their encouraging words on Twitter are no surprise, as the two fierce competitors are also close friends.
"He's the only person I'll even say anything to in the ready room," Phelps said. "We can joke around. He can hear my headphones with having them on my head, so we were both singing along to the music. We're super laid-back, super relaxed. We have fun. We love to race each other. ... We bring the best out of each other."
Lochte and Phelps will have another chance to face each other at the world championships as they will both swim the 200m individual medley later this week.