Ryan Lochte doesn’t seem to be slowing down after the 2012 London Games…
The 28-year-old swimming sensation – an 11-time Olympic medalist – broke his own world record in the 200-meter individual medley Friday at the short-course world championships, and he celebrated the feat by giving away his medal to a boy in the crowd.
“To see that smile on that little face means everything to me,” said Lochte, who finished the eight laps in 1 minute, 49.63 seconds. Daiya Seto of Japan won the silver in 1:52.80, and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary won the bronze in 1:52.80.
Lochte set his earlier record of 1:50.08 at the last short-course championships in Dubai in 2010, when the American won six gold medals and one silver. He’s won four races so far at this year’s event, which is taking place in Istanbul. He captured five medals at the 2012 Olympic Games, including two golds.
“Any time you break the world record, it’s amazing,” said Lochte. “I swam my best time, of course. I wanted to do something that no one else did here. I didn’t know I was going that fast anyway.”
After the awards ceremony, Lochte gave his medal to a fan, 9-year-old Arda Cakmak. Cakmak, the medal ribbon around his neck, showed off the prize to friends and photographers at the Sinan Erdem Arena.
“One of the main reasons for racing is because of my fans, so I always want to give something back,” the swimmer said. “If I took the medal, it would end up in a sock drawer. If I give it to a fan, they’re going to treasure it. It will make their day or even their life.”
This was Lochte’s fourth consecutive gold medal in the discipline, making him the second man to achieve that feat at the short-course championships. James Hickman of Britain won the 200 butterfly five times between 1997-2004.