The U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials 2016 are underway.
In the 400-meter individual medley, the first event of the trials, Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland reserved the first two Olympic spots and will head to Rio.
The start of the contest, however, wasn’t what they expected. Ryan Lochte was leading at the 50-meter mark and was under world record pace at the 100-meter mark. Kalisz managed to surge ahead of Lochte with an impressive breaststroke leg. Litherland, who was behind Lochte by a margin of two seconds at the 300-meter mark, pushed himself ahead in the last 15 meters.
Kalisz clinched victory, completing the contest in 4:09.54. According to Swimming World Magazine, he fell short of his personal best time of 4:09.22. While Litherland’s final time was recorded at 4:11.02, Lochte finished a second behind at 4:12.02.
“I had to go out faster than usual because I couldn’t use my legs in breaststroke,” the 11-time Olympic medallist Lochte said. “I did everything I could in that race. It just wasn’t enough. (I’ve) just got to forget about it and move forward. I’m going to keep working on it day-in and day-out, and hopefully it gets better.”
Lochte still has a window of qualifying for a fourth Olympics in one of the four events he will participate in.
Maya DiRado bagged victory in the women’s 400 meter medley, finishing at 4:33.73. Elizabeth Beisel, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist, finished three seconds behind at 4:36.81. In the time DiRado finished, she finds herself in the top five in the world in 2016.
“It was the most fun last 100 I’ve ever had in a 400 IM,” she said. “Thoughts crossed my mind like, ‘This is not real life, I’m imaging this, I’m still in my nap.’”
As reported by Yahoo News, DiRado participated in 2008 Olympic Trials but could not qualify. In 2012, she raced in the 200 and 400-meter individual medleys and finished fourth in both contests.
Connor Jaeger was victorious in the men’s 400 meter freestyle, finishing at 3:43.79. Conor Dwyer came in second, finishing at 3:44.66.