Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps win gold
IRVINE, Calif. -- Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps led all the way in winning their individual events at the Pan Pacific championships on Friday, helping the United States dominate on the third night of the year's biggest international meet.
The United States swept the 400-meter freestyle relays, with Phelps and Lochte giving the men a 2.56-second victory over Australia. The women beat the Aussies by 2.95 seconds.
Phelps earned his fourth gold of the meet, while Lochte claimed his fifth.
The American women won all five events, while the U.S. men won three of five.
Phelps led off the relay with a meet-record 100 split of 48.13 against Canada's Brent Hayden, whose mark of 48.59 Phelps lowered from four years ago. Jason Lezak swam the third leg and Nathan Adrian anchored the win in a meet-record time of 3:11.74.
"I started passing some of the people on the second leg," Phelps said.
The women's team of Natalie Coughlin, Jessica Hardy, Amanda Weir and Dana Vollmer won in a meet-record time of 3:35.11.
Earlier, Olympic champion Lochte won the 200 backstroke in 1:54.12, the world's fastest time this year. That eclipsed the meet record of 1:54.44 set by Aaron Peirsol four years ago.
"I felt pretty in control. I tried to hold back on my first 50," said Lochte, who hit the lane rope near the end. "I was trying to stay in the middle but it didn't work. I probably could've gone a half-second faster if I hadn't hit that. I had a big enough lead where it really didn't affect me."
American Tyler Clary earned the silver in 1:54.90. Ryosuke Irie of Japan, the world silver medalist who came in with the world's best time, was third.
Peirsol, the world record-holder, won the consolation final in 1:56.67. He was shut out of the championship final by Lochte and Clary, who were faster in the heats. Only two swimmers per country are allowed in the final.
Phelps won the 100 butterfly.
The world and Olympic champion touched in 50.86, erasing American Ian Crocker's meet record of 51.47 set four years ago. Phelps posted the year's fastest time of 50.65 in winning the title at U.S. nationals earlier this month.
Phelps' teammate Tyler McGill earned the silver in 51.85. Takuro Fujii of Japan took the bronze.
Phelps rested on the lane rope and watched the race replay on the giant videoboard above the outdoor pool.
"I guess I was off the blocks slow. The one thing I'm not happy with was the first 50. I couldn't get it going," he said. "To be able to still be under 51 wasn't terrible. If I want to be able to get back to the time I did last summer [at worlds], I just need a good first 50 to build up my speed."
Park Tae-kwan of South Korea rallied to win the 400 freestyle with the world's fastest time this year.
Park won in 4:44.73. The Olympic champion was neck-and-neck with Ryan Cochrane of Canada through 300 meters before pulling away on the final two laps. Park finished second in the 200 freestyle earlier in the meet.
Cochrane earned the silver medal in 3:46.78. Zhang Lin of China, the Olympic silver medalist who had the world's fastest time coming in, took the bronze in 3:46.91.
U.S. teammates Vollmer and Christine Magnuson went 1-2 in the 100 butterfly. Vollmer was timed in 57.56 and earned her first individual gold of the meet.
Magnuson, the Olympic silver medalist who owns the world's fastest time this year, was second in 57.95. Yolane Kukla, a 14-year-old Australian, was on world-record pace after 50 meters but faded to fourth.
The United States dominated the women's 200 backstroke, with 18-year-old Olympian Elizabeth Beisel holding off 16-year-old teammate Elizabeth Pelton at the wall to win. Beisel finished in 2:07.83 to Pelton's 2:08.10. Belinda Hocking of Australia took the bronze.
It was Beisel's second gold, having won the 400 individual medley on Thursday.
Chloe Sutton of the United States won the women's 400 free, holding off two Australians down the stretch to earn her first international title.
Sutton touched in 4:05.19, the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.
Katie Goldman was second in 4:05.84 and Blair Evans third in 4:06.36. American Allison Schmitt, cheered on by former training partner Phelps, was fourth.
"I can't believe that just happened," a breathless Sutton said. "I was hoping I could come in second to Allison because she seems to be on fire this meet. I'm just so excited. I was still fighting at the very end."
Sutton, a 2008 Olympian, earned a silver medal in the 800 free on Wednesday. She will swim in the 10-kilometer open water race on Sunday.
American Kate Ziegler won the consolation final in 4:05.22, which would have been good for the silver but the U.S. already had two entries in the final.
Hardy won the 50 breaststroke, a non-Olympic event, in 30.03, third-fastest ever. Felipe Silva of Brazil won the men's race in 27.26.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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