WR For Phelps In 400 IM - 4:05.25; Lochte - 4:06.08
Adam Sioui
Olympic champion and pretender to his crown set blistering pace to qualify for first events in Beijing

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte started off the first night of finals at the Qwest Center with a bang as both went under Phelps' old World Record in the 400 IM, with Phelps scoring the win.

Although out slower in the first 100 metres than at Worlds in Melbourne, Phelps blasted ahead during the backstroke leg and stayed under the mark for the remainder of the race.

Not to be undone, Lochte never let Phelps out of his sight and stayed close until he pulled even after the breaststroke split. Only 2 tenths separated the two stars at the 350 metre mark, but as he usually does, Phelps used his superior underwater kick to create the distance he needed to secure the win. Still, it was a huge personal best for Lochte by more than 3 seconds, and now both of these Americans will enter Beijing as the favourites for gold and silver.

Here are their splits:

Phelps: 26.16; 55.38 (29.22); 1:26.62 (31.24); 1:57.32 (30.70) 2:32.45 (35.13); 3:08.45 (36.00); 3:37.93 (29.48); 4:05.25 (27.32)

Lochte: 26.44; 56.87 (30.43); 1:28.00 (31.13); 1:58.27 (30.27) 2:32.67 (34.40); 3:08.47 (35.80); 3:38.13 (29.66); 4:06.08 (27.95)