Michael Phelps vowed after the 2008 Beijing Olympics that he would be retiring from the 400 individual medley (two lengths of each stroke, Butterfly, Back, Breast and Freestyle), an event which earned him a gold medal in both Beijing and Sidney. But he had a change of heart and swam the event at the 2012 Olympic Trials – only to take second place to Ryan Lochte, the reigning world champion in the event.
The two swimmers stayed neck-and-neck through the first two strokes, but Phelps faded a little during the end of the Backstroke and once they started the Breaststroke, Lochte pulled ahead. By the end of the race, Lochte won by more than a body length. Lochte’s final time was 4:07:06 and Phelps put up 4:07:89
Still, Lochte and Phelps became the first two male swimmers to make the 2012 London team, since the first two finishers advance. That means Phelps is now the first male U.S. swimmer to ever qualify for four Olympic teams.