OMAHA, Neb. — With another attention-grabbing head-to-head duel, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps set themselves up for yet one more at the U.S. swimming trials Friday night.
Lochte beat Phelps in their 200-meter individual medley semifinal by 1.15 seconds, but they had the top two qualifying times to advance to tonight's final.
Lochte's time, 1 minute, 55.51 seconds, is the fastest in the world this year. Phelps finished about a body length behind in 1:56.66.
"I knew (Lochte) kind of took off, so I was like I probably should save something for (today)," Phelps said. "I kind of shut it down once the race was kind of over."
Phelps stayed on track to compete in eight events, including relays, at London this summer and a chance to equal his record gold medal haul of 2008.
Earlier in the night, Lochte, a former Gator, also had the fastest time in the 200 backstroke semifinals. He heads into tonight's events with chances to get his third and fourth individual Games berths.
Clearwater native Robert Margalis had the 13th-fastest time in the 200 IM and did not advance. In the 200 back semis, Alex Katz of Tarpon Springs and Joshua Friedel of Florida State missed spots in the final.
Natalie Coughlin hung on in her quest to make it back to a third Olympics and take a shot at tying Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres as the most decorated female Olympians in U.S. history.
Coughlin won six medals in Beijing, and she has 11 overall, one shy of Thompson and Torres.
Having already missed out in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, Coughlin is down to her final realistic chance in the 100 freestyle. She barely got out of the semifinals, finishing sixth in her heat but seventh overall to qualify for tonight's final. Amanda Weir was the fastest qualifier in 54.14 seconds, followed by Missy Franklin (54.19) and Allison Schmitt (54.23).
St. Petersburg's Megan Romano had the 10th-fastest qualifying time, 54.72, and did not advance. Unless two of the finalists pull out, Romano's trials are over without an Olympic spot gained.
Not advancing out of the heats were Florida's Jamie Bohunicky, FSU's Tiffany Oliver, Gator and Seminole high graduate Kaitlin Frehling, and Tampa native and Tampa Prep grad Chelsea Nauta.
In a breaststroke upset, Scott Weltz won the 200, leaving favorites Brendan Hansen and Eric Shanteau with only one individual event at the Games, the 100 breaststroke. Florida's Matt Elliott was fifth.
Nathan Adrian won the men's 100 freestyle and Cullen Jones claimed the second spot for London in a final that had six previous Olympians, including Adrian and Jones, who won relays gold in 2008.
In the night's other final, Cammile Adams won the 200 butterfly. Former Gator Teresa Crippen, sister of the late Fran Crippen, was fourth and missed an Olympic spot. She had hoped to make the Olympics to help carry on the dream of her brother, who died in an open-water race in 2010.
Ex-Seminole Dix hurt, out of track trials
EUGENE, Ore. — Walter Dix, the 2008 bronze medalist in the 200 meters, withdrew from the track and field trials before the preliminary heats, citing a hamstring injury that has bothered him for a while. The injury flared up in the 100 semis Sunday and kept the former Florida State standout from finishing in the top three spots in the final to get a spot for London. He also won the 2008 bronze in that event.
"Unfortunately I had to withdraw from the Olympic trials," Dix wrote on his Facebook page. "My hamstring has been an issue this summer, and time to regroup and heal is what I have to do."
Wallace Spearmon had the fastest 200 time in the prelims. Also advancing to the semis were FSU's Maurice Mitchell and Horatio Williams, and UF's Dedric Dukes.
In the women's 200, two-time silver medalist Allyson Felix won her heat to advance to the semis, as did training partner Jeneba Tarmoh. The two had the same time, 22.30 seconds, six days after finishing in a dead heat for third in the 100 final for the final London spot. They will decide how to break that tie after today's 200 final.
UCF's Aurieyall Scott advanced to the 200 final. UCF's Octavious Freeman of Lake Wales was disqualified in her semi.
Reigning Olympic champion Angelo Taylor had the top time in the semis of the 400 hurdles and Florida's Kerron Clement the third-fastest.
Florida All-American Eddie Lovett advanced to the semis of the 110 hurdles. In the women's 400 hurdles, Miami's Thandi Stewart did not advance.
U.S. record-holder Jillian Camerena-Williams became a repeat Olympian by winning the women's shot put.
gymnastics: Bridget Sloan, the 2009 world all-around champion, withdrew from the U.S. trials before Day 1 of competition began after spraining her left elbow during warmups. Athletes aren't allowed to petition directly onto the Olympic team, so the injury ends her chances.
"Well, not my ideal way of ending my elite career," Sloan, who will be a freshman at Florida in the fall, wrote on Twitter. "But I am so blessed and so grateful I was able to make it so far."
Sloan, also a member of the team that won the silver medal in 2008 , was working on uneven bars when she hurt the elbow. She was examined by Larry Nassar, physician for the U.S. women's team, and then tried to warm up on the balance beam. But she soon left the competition floor.
basketball: The Heat's Chris Bosh became the latest injured player to withdraw from consideration for the U.S. team. Bosh said through his agent he wants to continue recovering from the strained abdominal muscle that sidelined him for a portion of his team's run to the NBA championship. Among those previously bowing out because of injuries were Miami's Dwyane Wade, the Bulls' Derrick Rose and the Magic's Dwight Howard. Sixteen players are left for 12 spots on the team. The team convenes in Las Vegas next week to start training camp.