Goddard eager to mix it with USA stars
July 24, 2012 22:54 pm
On August 2 the Aquatics Centre will bear witness to a showdown between two of the greatest swimmers in history when Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte face off in the 200 metres individual medley while hoping to force his way into the reckoning is Great Britain's James Goddard.
Phelps may well have 14 Olympic titles but it is Lochte's star that has risen over the last couple of years culminating in five gold medals at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai.
On that occasion, Lochte edged out his fellow American in the 200m freestyle - which Phelps has opted to drop in London - as well as the medley, the duel pushing the event into uncharted territory.
When Lochte touched he became the first person to break a long-course world record set in the shiny suit chaos as he lowered his own mark to one minute 54.00 seconds.
Phelps, admittedly not at his best after well-publicised motivational issues after Beijing, was 0.16secs adrift, a personal best. aszlo Cseh - arguably the third greatest all-round swimmer - was third, edging out Goddard.
The pair will meet in the 400m individual medley on the first night of competition, with world champion Lochte holding the upper hand after victory at last month's USA trials.
But Phelps took the 200m IM title, setting up a showdown which Goddard is proud to be part of although he has no intention of being a mere spectator.
He said: "It's a big one with Lochte and Phelps, the best swimmers of all time, so it's going to be a great race between them two I suppose.
"I want to be challenging those guys, I hate getting beaten in anything.
"We played a game of Monopoly a few of us the other day and I didn't like losing. I want to get in there and race and race tough and see if I can't scare those boys a little bit."
Copyright © Press Association Ltd. 2012, All Rights Reserved.