BARCELONA, Spain —
Twenty-four hours later, he had two more golds — and a performance for the ages.
Lochte pushed the early pace in the backstroke, leading at the first flip, and had enough to hold off his challengers. His winning time was 1 minute, 53.79 seconds — 0.45 ahead of Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki. Reigning Olympic champion Tyler Clary of the U.S., who edged Lochte for the gold in London, settled for bronze this time.
“The 200 back is probably one of the hardest events on your legs and your body in general,” Lochte said. “With the little training I’ve done this year, it’s going to set me up pretty good for 2016.”
With that, he hustled off the practice pool, located under a tent outside the arena, to get ready for the semifinals of the 100 fly.
This is a new event on his program, and he didn’t have a lot of expectations.
But Lochte, swimming in an outside lane after only the 13th-fastest time in the preliminaries, popped off a time of 51.48 — a personal best — to claim the top seed for the final. Chad le Clos of South Africa, who already won the 200 fly, was next at 51.52.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Lochte said.
Finally, in the relay, he joined with Dwyer, Charlie Houchin and Ricky Berens to give the Americans their fifth straight world title in the 4x200 free. Berens touched in 7:01.72, while Russia took the silver and China — with Sun swimming 1:43.16 on the anchor leg — rallied for the bronze.
In the women’s 100 free, Campbell pushed the pace from right the start, making the flip more than a half-second under world-record pace. That gave her a big enough lead to hold on for a time of 52.34, a half-body length in front of silver medalist Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden. Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands edged Franklin for the bronze by 0.05.