Ryan Lochte guarantees Michael Phelps will return in 2020 (Video)

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United States' Ryan Lochte and United States' Michael Phelps, right, compete during a men's 200-meter individual medley semifinal during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
United States’ Ryan Lochte and United States’ Michael Phelps, right, compete during a men’s 200-meter individual medley semifinal during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Will the Michael Phelps-Ryan Lochte rivalry carry on into 2020?

Lochte thinks it will.

In an interview on NBC’s Today Show Friday morning, Lochte told Matt Lauer he “guarantees” he’ll see Phelps in 2020 when the games move to Tokyo, Japan.

“I really think so. Michael, I’ll see you in Tokyo,” Lochte said.

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Lauer asked Lochte if Phelps, the most decorated Olympic swimmer in history, has been both “an inspiration and a frustration” throughout his career. Lochte agreed with that assessment.

“Yes, you could definitely say that,” Lochte said. “Definitely an inspiration with what he’s accomplished in the sport. He brings the best out of me. The rivalry we’ve created — and that friendship — I’m definitely going to cherish it for the rest of my life.”

[Related: CBC calls entire race mixing up Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte]

In Thursday night’s 200-meter individual medley, Phelps bested Lochte and the field to win his record 22nd Olympic gold. Lochte, who has 12 medals of his own (including six gold), finished a disappointing fifth.

Lochte told Lauer he “used too much energy” in the front half of the race allowing Phelps to jump to the front of the pack.

“That kind of hurt me toward the end. It happens,” he said.

As he indicated in a post-race interview, Lochte plans to take a much-needed “mental and physical break” from swimming.

“Day in and day out and just beating up your body, it takes a toll. And being at the age I am now, it’s definitely time that I need a break. But I can’t say it’s over,” Lochte said of his career.

Phelps and Lochte teamed up with Conor Dwyer and Townley Haas to take gold in the men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay earlier this week. Phelps will look to win yet another gold Friday night in the 100-meter butterfly event.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!