We were this close (seven-hundredths of a second-close) to missing a Phelps-Lochte face-off. This guy just can't get motivated. After deciding to saunter his way through the London Olympics, participating in only seven events and not the eight he dominated in Beijing, Phelps almost wound up competing in only six. Almost.
Phelps won the final spot in the qualifying meet for the 400 IM and did so by the slimmest of margins.
He won his heat in 4 minutes, 13.33 seconds, barely beating Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, who finished in 4:13.40. Cseh will miss the final after winning silver in 2008 and bronze in 2004.
Lochte qualified in third place overall.
In just barely qualifying, Phelps keeps alive his attempt to become the first male swimmer to win an event in three consecutive Olympics. The only problem (aside from almost not making it) is that Lochte—who won Bronze in the event at Beijing—has beaten Phelps at this year's Olympic trials and the 2009 and 2011 world championships.
Michael Phelps barely makes 400 IM final vs. Ryan Lochte [USA Today]
For a handy master schedule of every Olympic event, click here.