The World record holder, champion in 2011 and best performer of the season, US Ryan Lochte (USA) was the favourite of this race and did not disappoint: the North American star, fourth in the 200m free and silver medallist in the 4x100m free relay at the Palau Sant Jordi, got his first title in Barcelona, touching home in 1:54.98, faster than the 1:55.44 he had clocked in June in Indianapolis. With this victory, Lochte, who has 11 Olympic podium presences, totals 21 medals at FINA World Championships and like Phelps in 2003, 2005 and 2007, has now three consecutive wins in the event, after his 2009 and 2011 successes.
The silver went to Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, who won the duel with Thiago Pereira from Brazil. The Asian swimmer, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in the 400m IM, clocked 1:56.29 against Pereira’s 1:56.30. It is the first success at this level for the Brazilian, who won silver in London in the longer distance. Hagino has also won silver in the 400m free here in Barcelona.
The deception of the final was Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, only fifth in 1:57.70. The Magyar swimmer has won the bronze at the Olympics in this same event behind Phelps and Lochte and was also third in 2011 in Shanghai (CHN).
World Record: Ryan Lochte (USA), 1:54.00 – July 28, 2011 in Shanghai (CHN)
Championships Record: Ryan Lochte (USA), 1:54.00 – July 28, 2011 in Shanghai (CHN)
Best performance of the current season (since January 2013): Ryan Lochte (USA), 1:54.98 – August 1, in Barcelona (ESP)
2003-2011 winners in this event: 2003 – Michael Phelps (USA, 1:56.04); 2005 – Michael Phelps (USA, 1:56.68); 2007 – Michael Phelps (USA, 1:54.98); 2009 – Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:54.10); 2011 – Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:54.00)
The best in this event (1. most victories or 2. fastest time): Michael Phelps (USA, 2003, 2005 & 2007) and Ryan Lochte (USA, 2009, 2011 & 2013)
2012 Olympic podium: 1. Michael Phelps (USA, 1:54.27), 2. Ryan Lochte (USA, 1:54.90), 3. Laszlo Cseh (HUN, 1:56.22)
source : Barcelona 2013 - FINA Live Blog