Michael F Phelps of North Baltimore and Natalie A Coughlin of California Aquatics captured gold medals of Men’s and Women’s 200m Individual Medley (IM) respectively, on last day of the Austin Grand Prix at Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Sunday, January 15. Austin is the second juncture of 2011-12 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series, which is a seven-stop battle.
The 14-time Olympic Champion and butterfly expert, Phelps went rampant in the four-lap discipline. With his continuous efforts, he defeated the 200m IM world record holder, Ryan S Lochte in the race and remained untouched throughout the event. He cemented his place on top of the victory stand for gold medal by clocking a wonderful time of 1 minute and 58.52 seconds.
He was trailed by 27-year-old Lochte, who failed to defend his title and ended up second by reporting an effort of 2 minutes and 00.30 seconds. The second position holder was trailed by Conor J Dwyer of FLOR-FL, who remained 1.29 seconds slower than Lochte and emerged on the finishing end with a timing of 2 minutes and 01.59 seconds for bronze medal.
In the meantime, the arena enjoyed furious efforts of 29-year-old Coughlin in Women’s equivalent event. With her persistent efforts, Coughlin notched up the title of 200m discipline by clocking a time of 2 minutes and 12.44 seconds.
She remained nearly one and a half stroke away from her immediate opponent, Katie E Hoff of Fast Swim Team-C on the concluding wall. The 22-year-old Hoff confirmed her place on the podium by hitting the wall with a second best timing of 2 minutes and 12.95 seconds.
She was chased by Kate E Dwelley of STAN-PC, who stayed almost one second slower than her and ended her swim in a time of 2 minutes and 13.84 seconds for bronze medal.
Furthermore, Phelps, who still holds the Olympic record of 200m IM, aroused expectations of his followers by overwhelming Lochte’s effort in the final round of IM. In addition, the frontrunners of 200m IM collected their awards at the medal ceremony after the conclusion of session.