Michael Phelps might not have been good enough to win a comeback race in the US at the weekend, but he did shunt Chad le Clos down the world rankings.
Ryan Lochte out-swam the American legend at a gala in Phoenix, Arizona, winning the 100m butterfly final in 51.93sec.
Phelps was second in 52.13sec, one-hundredth of a second quicker than Le Clos swam at the South African championships in Durban earlier in April.
Lochte and Phelps, both multiple Olympic champions, pushed the South African star to seventh on the world rankings for 2014, but he is unlikely to be fazed.
He sacrificed speed at the national gala to compete in eight individual races, equalling the South African record of lifting seven national crowns. Le Clos can go a lot faster, as he did at last year’s world championships when he won the 100m in 51.06sec.
Photo by Doha Stadium Plus