Photo: Thiago Pereira
Brazilian swimmer Thiago Pereira won silver after finishing a distant second to American Ryan Lochte in Saturday’s Olympic men’s 400-meter individual medley final, while Michael Phelps came in a disappointing fourth.
Lochte dominated the race from start to finish to touch the wall in 4:05.18, more than three seconds ahead of Pereira, who clocked in at 4:08.86, although still well short of the world-record time of 4:03.84 that his countryman Phelps set four years ago in the Beijing Olympics.
Pereira earned a podium spot thanks to an outstanding performance in the breaststroke portion, which enabled him to move from fifth place into second, leaving behind Phelps, eventual bronze-medalist Kosuke Hagino of Japan and South Africa’s Chad le Clos.
Phelps, who has a record 14 Olympic gold medals and was the champion in this event in the 2004 and 2008 Games, was in the top three after the butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke, but was unable to hold his ground in the freestyle and was passed by the 17-year-old Hagino over the final 100 meters.
Saturday marked the last time the 27-year-old swimming icon will compete in the 400-meter individual medley, one of the sport’s most grueling events, as Phelps has vowed to retire after the London Games.