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Franklin, Lochte Coast To Victories In Grand Prix

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Lochte has enjoyed his celebrity status since adding five Olympic medals to his resume during the London Games.

Now it’s time to get back to business, with the short-course world championships coming up next month.

“After London I’ve just been doing so many different things like cameos for TV shows, all these appearances, and you can get caught up in it,” the three-time Olympian said Sunday night after winning two events on the final day of the Minneapolis Grand Prix. “But I knew if I wanted to go to short-course worlds, I had to stop all that and start training again.”

Lochte and fellow Olympic star Missy Franklin each coasted to victories in their first major competition since the London Games, winning two events apiece on the final night of the short-course event.

Franklin won the 200-meter backstroke and the 100-meter freestyle. Lochte easily outpaced his competition in the 200 individual medley and the 200 backstroke. Both Olympians finished with five wins apiece during the first races of the six-meet series.

“I’m pretty pleased with the outcome of all my races that I had at this meet,” Lochte said after signing autographs for fans at the University of Minnesota. “It’s just a little stepping stone for how well I want to do at short-course worlds.”

Lochte began his evening by completing the 200 IM in 1 minute, 45.62 seconds. University of Minnesota swimmers Kyler Van Swol (1:49.24) and Brandon Hatanaka (1:50.75) took second and third, respectively.

Lochte’s time of 1:41.43 in the 200 back was nearly three seconds faster than second-place finisher Arkady Vyatchanin.

Earlier in the weekend, Lochte won the 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, and 100 backstroke.

Franklin, meanwhile, was all smiles a weekend after signing to swim at the University of California for coach Teri McKeever, who also was her Olympic coach.

“It’s been so long since London, and I’ve been looking forward to this for so long, just to get back in the water and get racing again,” Franklin said shortly after winning the 100 freestyle in 48.31 seconds.

Erin Caflisch finished second in the 100 free in 49.65 seconds, and Kathryn McLaughlin took third at 49.77.

Earlier in the night, Franklin won her fourth event of the weekend by finishing nearly six seconds ahead of her closest competitor in the 200 backstroke. She touched in 1:50.10.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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