Omaha, Neb. -- Ryan Lochte again bested Michael Phelps on Tuesday night, this time in by a mere .02 seconds, in their semifinal heat in the 200-meter freestyle event of the Olympic qualifying trials. Both go on to the finals Wednesday night to see if one or both swims the event at the London Games.
"I was a little sore this morning but I'm fine with that," said Phelps, who was stretching his neck from side to side as he entered for the race at the CenturyLink Center here. "At this point right now, it's about getting spots on the team."
It was the second time in two days that the rivals for swimming supremacy met, and the second time that Lochte came out on top. On Monday night, he powered past Phelps for first in the punishing 400 individual medley final, with both qualifying to race that event in the London Games, which open July 27.
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Lochte had scratched from the 100 backstroke race he swam in the preliminaries, coming in second in the morning heats, to focus on the race in which he would face the Baltimore swimmer.
The finish had the crowd roaring, as either looked in position to touch the wall first.
"Definitely we kicked it in gear the last 50, me and him," Lochte said. "You know tomorrow night it's going to be a lot faster."
Lochte clocked in at 1 minute 46.25 seconds and Phelps at 1:46.27. Phelps is the American record holder in the event at 1:42.96.
"It's going to be a tough race tomorrow," Phelps said.