Lochte up for more events for 2016 Olympics
Published: Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, August 5, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
LONDON - If you thought Ryan Lochte might scale it back a bit after he failed to win more than one individual gold at the London Olympics, think again.
"I'm probably going to swim more events in 2016, and I'm going to swim as long as I'm having fun," the American said Sunday, a day after the conclusion of the swimming events at the London Games.
In Lochte's six events, he won two golds - one in the 400-meter individual medley and one with the 4x200 freestyle relay squad - two silvers in the 200 IM and the 4x100 free relay, and a bronze in the 200 backstroke. He was fourth in the 200 free.
"I'm definitely going to be training a lot differently and I'll be training for more of the shorter events, so I'll be cutting down my training a little," he said.
New events might include the 100 backstroke and the 100 butterfly - a race in which he narrowly missed qualifying. Teammate Matt Grevers won the 100 back, while Michael Phelps has won the 100 fly at three consecutive Olympics.
Expectations for Lochte were high before the London Games, and Phelps, who is retiring, understands why Lochte is making changes.
"I'm sure he has goals and I'm sure he's the same way I am - he's a competitor," Phelps said. "If he doesn't accomplish those goals, he's going to go back to the drawing board and see what he needs to do to accomplish them the next time."
So which events will Lochte add?
"I'm going to keep everyone guessing for the next four years," he said. "We'll have to see."
For now, Lochte is sticking with the grueling 400 IM. But he'll cut back on the painful training load that garnered so much attention ahead of the Olympics: 10 miles split over five hours in two workouts every day of the week.
"I told my coach, 'I'll stop swimming that event when someone beats me,' and I haven't lost that event in three years," Lochte said. "So I think I'll keep training for it but I'll do a different training. I'll work more on my sprint events."
Lochte will also compete more. For the first time, he's planning to race in the often-ignored World Cup circuit. The series of short-course meets starts in October and lasts six weeks with stops in Dubai, Doha, Stockholm, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore.
"I'm going to try to go to all of them," he said at sponsor event. "I'm definitely looking forward to that."
Lochte will be 32 by the time the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games roll around.
"Age is just a number," he said. "There are some people that the older they get they get better. That's what I've been doing. I've gotten faster every year, so I plan on getting even faster."
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.