Ryan Lochte stormed to the 400 meters individual medley gold on Saturday, leaving arch rival Michael Phelps off the podium in fourth and bringing the United States their first Olympic gold in London.
Lochte won in 4 minutes, 5.18 seconds ahead of Thiago Pereira of Brazil, who was 3.7 seconds back. Kosuke Hagino of Japan took the bronze just 0.08 seconds adrift.
"Four years is a long time to be working for. I put the work in. I know it’s my time and I'm ready. I'm just going out there and having fun," Lochte said in televised comment.
It was an emphatic dethroning of 14-time Olympic gold medalist Phelps, who was left for dead with half of the race gone.
The 400m individual medley was one of four chances that Phelps will get of winning three successive golds in the same Olympic events.
Phelps and Lochte meet again in the 200m individual medley on Wednesday.