This time, however, Phelps emerged the winner!
After losing to Lochte in the 400 individual medley last Saturday, Phelps, 27, managed to out-swim his friend and teammate in Thursday’s 200-meter individual medley by .63 seconds.
After becoming the most-decorated Olympian earlier this week, Phelps met another goal: his victory makes him the first male swimmer to win an individual event at three consecutive Games.
Phelps’s gold medal-winning swim – clocking in at 1:54:27 – brought his total number of medals to 20 (16 gold), while Lochte’s silver upped his own count to 11.
But with two events left to go, Phelps may not be done adding medals to his collection. He’ll swim the 100 butterfly final on Friday and the 4×100 medley relay on Saturday before he’s officially finished with what he says will be his final Olympics.
Lochte, who turns 28 Friday, is done for the Games. His other Thursday night final – the 200 backstroke, traditionally his best event – nabbed him a bronze medal, while teammate Tyler Clary took home the gold.
“Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t,” says Lochte. “But overall, I can’t be too disappointed. I am coming home to my country with five Olympic medals.”