Michael Phelps has advanced to the final of the Olympic 200-meter individual medley as the top qualifier.
Swimming next to teammate and longtime rival Ryan Lochte, Phelps put up an effortless-looking time of 1 minute, 55.78 seconds Wednesday night to claim the prime middle lane in the final.
Lochte will be right next to him again, ranking second in 1:56.28. Thiago Pereira sent the Brazilian crowd into a frenzy by staying close to the two American stars, finishing third in 1:57.11.
Phelps will be seeking his fourth straight 200 IM title at the Olympics. He also has a chance to pull off that feat in the 100 butterfly.