Phelps bests Lochte again in Austin

Published: Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 10:53 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 10:53 p.m.

AUSTIN, Texas — Michael Phelps won the 100-meter backstroke in 54.14 seconds — more than a second off his personal best — in the Austin Grand Prix on Saturday night.

The 14-time Olympic champion edged emerging rival Ryan Lochte for the second straight night after winning the 100 butterfly on Friday. Nick Thoman was second Saturday, and Lochte finished third.

Phelps was slated to race the “B” final in the 200 breaststroke, but dropped out as expected.

The bearded Phelps wore a Baltimore Ravens jersey before he dropped into the pool for the race and seemed as worried about the NFL playoff game in Pittsburgh as his kick in the final 15 to 20 meters.

“It wasn’t too bad,” Phelps said. “I would really like to work on being able to finish a race better. My legs were in a lot of pain. That’s just lack of being in shape. I would like to feel a lot less (fatigue) than what I am, just because it’s close to the world championships and we’re heading into an Olympic trial year.”

Phelps then gathered up the jersey and headed away to catch the end of the Ravens’ loss.

“I’ve been following it the whole way through,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to watch.”

He’s scheduled to swim two more races Sunday.

Lochte, a Florida alum, came back about 45 minutes after finishing third to Phelps and lost a 3-second lead in the “B” final of the 400 freestyle to Ediz Yildirimer of Russia.

Missy Franklin, the 15-year-old star from Centennial, Colo., won the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke. In the backstroke, she finished in a personal-best 59.75 seconds.

“I did not think I would go under a minute at all,” the 6-foot Franklin said. “I’m so excited about it. Before the race my coach offered to buy me dinner for (breaking a minute). I should take him to somewhere expensive, shouldn’t I?”

Franklin, second behind Katie Hoff on Friday in the 200 freestyle, is set to race in the 200 medley, 200 backstroke and 200 freestyle on Sunday.

Hoff, a three-time Olympic medalist, finished second Saturday behind Kate Ziegler in the 400 freestyle. Ziegler finished in 4:08.28, and Hoff was more than a second back.

Eric Shanteau raced to his second victory of the meet, taking the 200 breaststroke in 2:12.12.

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