INDIANAPOLIS — Michael Phelps posted the best in-season time of his career in the 400 IM on Friday night, holding off Tyler Clary's late charge at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Phelps slashed more seconds off his season-best time, finishing in 4 minutes, 12.51 seconds and possibly opening the door to swim the event at the London Olympics. Clary's time was 4:13.01.
Ryan Lochte, Phelps' biggest rival, led through the first three turns of the 200 backstroke but his final split of 31.80 dropped him to fourth.
Phelps and Lochte are expected to go head-to-head Saturday in the 200 IM.
Allison Schmitt beat three other Olympians in the women's 200 freestyle, including Missy Franklin. Franklin came right back to win the 200 backstroke in the next event by 1.5 seconds.