American swimmer Ryan Lochte won the men's 200 freestyle at the world swimmning championships in China on Tuesday, edging out superstar teammate Michael Phelps by a three-tenths of a second. The race was perhaps the most anticipated of the world championships, pitting Phelps, a 14-time Olympic gold medalist, against Lochte and defending world champion Paul Biedermann of Germany. Lochte overtook Phelps after a strong turn at the 100-meter mark to finish in 1:44.44. Phelps was second in 1:44.79 and Biedermann took bronze in 1:44.88. Lochte's win over a struggling Phelps is the most recent indication of a leveling of the field in men's swimming. The result—and Australian Ian Thorpe's announcement that he may end a five-year retirement to swim at the 2012 Olympics—has set the stage for the a rematch of the Race of the Century, the 200-meter showdown won by Thorpe at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
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