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Now, Lochte faces a daunting doubleheader: He'll go against Peirsol, the guy with whom he shares the world record in the 200 back, then come right back to race against medley record-holder Phelps, using all four strokes.
"I just get ready for one race," Lochte said. "The most important thing is being able to separate (the two events) and just move on. I've trained for it. I'm used to it. The biggest part for me in the psychological part."
Pieter van den Hoogenband called it a career. The 30-year-old Flying Dutchman announced his retirement immediately after a fifth-place finish ruined his hopes of winning a third straight gold in the 100 free.
"Way too fast," said Van den Hoogenband, who won three golds and seven medals overall in two previous trips to the Olympics. "It's a new generation and it's now time to step aside. They did a great job. I'm from the previous generation."
Liu was stunned by her triumph in the 200 fly, though she brushed off questions about whether the Chinese held her out of major meets so they could spring her on the world at Beijing.
Liu's time was more than a second below the previous record of 2:05.40 set two years ago by Australia's Jess Schipper, who could only manage a bronze against the two Chinese.
"I didn't expect that I could swim so fast," Liu said. "I've only improved in the last year."
Kitajima lived up to his favorite's billing in the 200 breast, winning easily in 2:07.64 but coming up 0.13 short of his own world record, set in June. With top rival Brendan Hansen not even in the field -- he shockingly failed to qualify for the event at the U.S. trials -- Kitajima finished a half-body length ahead of silver medalist Brenton Rickard of Australia (2:08.88) to match his two breaststroke golds in Athens four years ago. France's Hugues Duboscq claimed the bronze.
"I was so calm that I think I could have seen each face in this venue," Kitajima said. "I enjoyed my race."
So did Lezak, the oldest man on the U.S. swim team at 32.
After chasing chased down Bernard in the relay to make sure Phelps stayed on course for eight gold medals, Lezak added to his tally with the first individual medal of his Olympic career.
Four years ago, Lezak made a grievous mistake in the preliminaries of the 100 free. He tried to conserve his energy in the preliminaries and wound up getting eliminated.
"It's been eating at me for a long time," the three-time Olympian said. "So to go out there and accomplish a medal is really exciting. It doesn't top the relay medal, but it's something I've been pushing for for four years."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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