Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte qualify top-2 in 200m IM

AP: Is Michael Phelps the G.O.A.T?

Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte finished first and second, respectively, in their semifinal heat of the 200-meter individual medley on Wednesday in Rio. The final matchup takes place Thursday night.

Phelps, the first-place finisher, clocked in at 1:55.78. Lochte was less than a second behind at 1:56.28, with Brazilian Thiago Pereira trailing both Americans, with a 1:57.11 time.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Olympics

Phelps will be gunning for his 26th Olympic medal. A first-place finish would earn him his 22nd gold, and 15th individual gold, breaking a record that's stood for more than 2,000 years.

Lochte is seeking his 13th medal -- a first-place finish would earn him his third-ever individual Olympic gold. He's medaled in the event in each of the last three Summer Games, dating back to 2004.

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