Michael Phelps won his 21st career Olympic gold medal on Tuesday night, aided by Ryan Lochte in the 4x200m freestyle relay. By also winning gold, Lochte became the second most-decorated male Olympic swimmer of all-time.
But Wednesday, it was all about individual credentials at stake. Phelps and Lochte went head-to-head in their 200m individual medley semifinal.
Phelps came away with the victory, clocking one minute, 55.78 seconds to post the fastest time across both semifinals. Lochte raced to 1:56.28. Both men will advance to Thursday night’s final, about a second ahead of the rest of the field. Joining them in the final will be Brazil’s Thiago Pereira, who won a silver medal in the 400m IM at the 2012 London Olympics and 400m IM gold medalist Kosuke Hagino of Japan.