Ryan Lochte turned his much-anticipated duel with Michael Phelps into a blowout, pulling away to win the Olympic 400-meter individual medley by more than 3 seconds today. Even more stunning: Phelps didn't even win a medal. After barely qualifying for the evening final in a performance that hinted at trouble ahead, Phelps struggled to a fourth-place finish and was denied his 17th career medal. When it was done, he could barely pull himself out of the pool.
"It was just a crappy race," Phelps said. "I felt fine the first 200, then, I don't know. They just swam a better race than me, a smarter race than me, and were better prepared than me. That's why they're on the medal stand." Brazil's Thiago Pereira took the silver, and Japan's Kosuke Hagino claimed the bronze—beating Phelps by a barely comfortable 34-hundredths of a second for the last spot on the podium.