The swimmers competed in the 200-meter individual medley at the sold-out CenturyLink Center, where Phelps, 31, defeated his longtime competitor by a mere 0.31 seconds.
“When we race each other, we bring each other to a different level,” the victorious winner said Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We take each other to that next step.”
Lochte, 31, added, “We push each other. That challenge of getting on the blocks and racing against him is a thrill so I’m definitely looking forward to doing that again [in Rio].”
The swimmers, who first competed against each other in 2003 and have a combined 33 Olympic medals, will both represent the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next month for the fourth consecutive Olympics.
“I think we’ve both just grown up. I think we’re both just loving life and loving what we’re doing,” Phelps said Friday night, later adding, “I don’t know if there’s another person in the world who I race who brings out the best in me like he does.”
As Us Weekly previously reported, the new dad recently became the first U.S. male swimmer to qualify for five Olympics. Phelps’ fiancée, Nicole Johnson, and their newborn son, Boomer, who was born May 5, were both in the crowd in Omaha on June 29, cheering the athlete on as he made history.
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