SHANGHAI -- Thiago Pereira of Brazil qualified fastest for the 200-meter individual medley at the world championships Wednesday, with Americans Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps advancing despite feeling the pain of their showdown in the 200 freestyle.
Pereira clocked 1 minute, 57.82 seconds, while David Verraszto of Hungary was second at 1:58.69. Kenneth To of Australia was third at 1:59.02.
Defending champion Lochte was fourth-quickest in 1:59.04, while Phelps was eighth in 1:59.58. Those two have won the past four titles at worlds, with Phelps winning three in a row.
"That was probably one of the worst swims I've ever swam," Lochte said. "The last 20 meters I definitely stopped swimming."
He won the 200 free over Phelps a night earlier, with the medal ceremony and interviews disrupting his postrace routine.
"I just wasn't the same Ryan Lochte as I was yesterday," he said. "Maybe it had to do with all the stuff that happened last night -- not being able to warm down right and get a rub down and stuff like that -- so I paid for it this morning. But I'll be better tonight."
Phelps was still recovering from the 200 free, too.
"I think I'm going to feel that the whole week," he said. "The big thing is getting through tonight and then it's sort of downhill."
Phelps has the 200 butterfly final Wednesday night, followed by the 200 IM semifinals.
"Being able to come back and do a double I think is going to be fun," he said. "Maybe Ryan and I will get to be next to each other again."
Laszlo Cseh of Hungary, a three-time medalist in the 200 IM, made the semifinal cut in 13th.
William Meynard of France was the fastest qualifier in the 100 free prelims.
Meynard touched in 48.14 seconds. James Magnussen, who led off Australia's victorious 400 free relay four days ago, was second at 48.21. Two-time former world champion Filippo Magnini of Italy was third-quickest at 48.36.
"It took me a couple of days to come down off that high of the relay and get relaxed for this," Magnussen said.
Defending champion Cesar Cielo advanced to the semifinals in fourth at 48.41. The Brazilian won the 50 butterfly on Monday, days after being cleared of doping by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
"I'll have to bring a little more heat tonight to get a spot in the final," Cielo said, calling Magnussen the favorite. "I don't think 47.49 is within my reach right now, so if he does it again, I don't think anybody can touch him."
That's news to the 20-year-old Aussie, who's competing in his first world meet.
"I still don't think anybody really knows who I am," Magnussen said. "Getting that gold medal with the relay takes a bit of pressure off. I'm already a world champion in one way."
He created a buzz with his sizzling opening split of 47.49 against Phelps in the 400 free relay, where the United States finished third.
"Every year somebody comes out. You never stay on top," American Nathan Adrian said. "Now he's got people gunning for him."
Adrian was eighth at 48.62. His 35-year-old teammate, Jason Lezak, finished 20th and failed to advance.
In the women's 200 butterfly, Natsumi Hoshi of Japan had the fastest time of 2:07.34.
Zsuzsanna Jakabos of Hungary was second at 2:07.60, followed by American Kathleen Hersey at 2:07.91.
"I got the jitters out so I'll be better prepared for the next one, then hopefully better for the next one," said Hersey, who was swimming her first race of the meet.
China's Liu Zige was fifth, while defending champion Jess Schipper of Australia advanced in ninth. American Teresa Crippen was 10th. Two-time champion Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland qualified 13th for the semifinals.
Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, the 2009 bronze medalist, finished 19th and didn't advance.
In the women's 50 backstroke, Anastasia Zueva of Russia led the way at 28.20 a day after earning a silver in the 100 back.
China's Zhou Yanxin was second at 28.24, followed by teammate Gao Chang at 28.27. Gao won the bronze two years ago in Rome.
Elizabeth Pelton of the United States was fifth at 28.35, with 16-year-old teammate Missy Franklin sixth at 28.37.
Franklin was a late addition to the 50 back after teammate Natalie Coughlin dropped out before the meet.
"It was a great learning experience. I'm having the time of my life," Franklin said. "This is such a fun race because it's just like splash and bash."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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