It didn’t take Ryan Lochte long to get his mojo back.
The four-time U.S. Olympian, competing in his first sanctioned U.S. swim meet since serving a 10-month suspension for his behavior at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, won the men’s 200-meter individual medley Sunday with a meet-record time of 1:59.24 at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships in East Meadow, N.Y.
That time was more than a second better than Sunday’s second-place finisher, Xavier Mohammed of Great Britain, but nearly two seconds slower than Lochte’s fifth-place finish in the event in Rio (1:57.47).
“No matter what the time was tonight, I knew I could go faster,” Lochte said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be there with my lack of training this year. I put my family first and I have no regrets for that. Family is everything.”
On Saturday, Lochte finished fifth in the 100-meter backstroke final with a time of 55.16 seconds.
Last fall, USA Swimming and the U.S. Olympic Committee announced Lochte was suspended for 10 months and would be fined $100,000 for his role, which cost him sponsorships with four companies.
Criminal charges against Lochte were dismissed by a Brazilian appellate court in July because it ruled that he did not break the law because his claims to NBC were not equal to filing a false police report.
Lochte, 33, has said he is hoping to earn a spot on the 2020 Olympic team. One of the most decorated swimmers in U.S. history, Lochte has won six gold medals, three silvers and three bronze medals while representing the U.S. in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He would be 36 at the Tokyo Olympics if he were to make the team.