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“I don’t think that was a good time for me,” Lochte said. “There are some things I got to work on.”

Earlier in the meet, Lochte won the 200 free and 200 individual medley, beating Phelps both times. He also set a world record in the 200 IM — the first world mark since high-tech bodysuits were banned 19 months ago.

“I have a lot of confidence, especially what happened last year,” said Lochte, who won six golds to Phelps‘ five at the Pan Pacific championships a year ago.

Earlier, Phelps led the 100 butterfly semifinals in 51.47. He won’t be facing Milorad Cavic in Saturday’s final. The American-born Serb who nearly spoiled Phelps‘ bid for eight golds at the Beijing Olympics failed to advance out of the morning heats as he recovers from back surgery.

Lochte’s performances highlighted the most successful night yet for the U.S., with Rebecca Soni winning the 200 breaststroke to go with her earlier title in the 100 breast.

After easily moving through the prelims and semifinals, Soni struggled the second half of the race, touching in 2:21.47 to hold off a late rally by Yuliya Efimova of Russia. Efimova took silver in 2:22.22 and Martha McCabe of Canada earned bronze at 2:24.81.

“It felt great the first 100 and then I was trying to hold on at the end,” Soni said. “I ran out of gas.”

Still, it was a satisfying turnaround from 2009, when Soni was 1.5 seconds ahead of world-record pace halfway through the race and then dropped to fourth on the last lap.

“I try to put that in the past,” she said. “I proved I can win the gold medal.”

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen and Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus finished in a dead heat for gold in the 100 freestyle at 53.45 seconds. Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands took the bronze at 53.66.

World record holder Britta Steffen dropped out after finishing 16th in Thursday’s preliminaries. The German swept both the 50 and 100 free at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and at the worlds two years ago in Rome.

It was the second time in these championships that there was a dead heat for gold, after Camille Lacourt and Jeremy Stravius of France shared the top spot on the podium in the men’s 100 backstroke Tuesday.

Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima of Japan endured a bitter disappointment in the men’s 200 breast.

He was on world-record pace with one lap to go, but got overtaken by defending champion Daniel Gyurta of Hungary.

Gyurta finished in 2:08.41, while Kitajima took the silver at 2:08.63. Christian vom Lehn of Germany earned the bronze in 2:09.06.

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