Lochte scoops top award

2011-11-23 14:29

California - Two-time Olympian Ryan Lochte and teenager Missy Franklin won male and female athlete of the year awards as the USA Swimming honoured its top performers.

Lochte beat Michael Phelps for top male swimmer announced at the eighth annual awards. Lochte also earned the honour in 2009.

Lochte also won the men's race of the year award for his performance in the 200m backstroke in the world championships at Shanghai, where he set the first world record since high-tech suits were banned. Lochte won six medals at worlds.

"I wouldn't get this if it wasn't for Michael. He's pushed me to so many limits," Lochte said. "We have a great sportsmanship and a great rivalry."

Franklin, a 16-year-old from Colorado, capped a breakout season by winning the female award, presented by Janet Evans, who is making a comeback at age 40.

She also won female race of the year for her gold-medal showing in the 200m backstroke at worlds and relay performance as part of the winning women's 400m medley relay. Franklin won five medals at worlds.

Florida's Gregg Troy won coach of the year. He was an assistant on the men's team in Shanghai and coaches Lochte among other athletes.

The winners were selected by a nine-member panel in combination with online fan voting.


Sapa - AP