Swimming: Ryan Lochte wins record 4th world title in 200 IM

AP , Thursday 6 Aug 2015

Ryan Lochte of the U.S.
Ryan Lochte of the U.S. competes to win the men's 200m individual medley final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 6, 2015 (Reuters )

Ryan Lochte made history at the world swimming championships, becoming the first man to win the 200-meter individual medley four consecutive times Thursday night.

The 31-year-old American trailed through the first three legs but came home strong on the freestyle lap and touched first in 1 minute, 55.81 seconds.

Thiago Pereira of Brazil finished second in 1:56.65 and Wang Shun of China was third in 1:56.81.

It was Lochte's 24th world championships medal - second only to Michael Phelps' career total of 33 - and his 16th gold.

The U.S. has won the event seven consecutive times, starting with Phelps' three titles in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Lochte picked up the mantle with previous victories in 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Grant Hackett of Australia won the 1,500 freestyle four times at worlds.

It was the seventh medal won by the U.S. team in Kazan, and the first gold by a man. Katie Ledecky has won three golds and set two world records for the Americans so far.

Lochte got off to a disappointing start in the championships, finishing fourth in the 200 freestyle. He kept it low key after hitting the wall, exchanging a hand clasp with Pereira who was in the lane next to him. Lochte swam just two individual events at worlds, although he could be selected for the remaining relays.

American Conor Dwyer finished fifth.

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