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OTHERS > Lochte wins hearts with photo with Turkish kid

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United States swimming superstar Ryan Lochte shared his photograph with Turkish fan Kaan Çolakoğlu taken during the championships on Twitter.

United States swimming superstar Ryan Lochte shared his photograph with Turkish fan Kaan Çolakoğlu taken during the championships on Twitter.

United States swimming superstar Ryan Lochte shared his photograph with Turkish fan Kaan Çolakoğlu taken during the championships on Twitter.

Ryan Lochte missed a gold medal to Chad Le Clos, but on the sidelines, he remained the star of the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Istanbul.

South Africa’s Olympic 100m butterfly champion Le Clos added the world short course crown to his collection on Dec. 12 with a commanding victory in the final. On the sidelines, Lochte still had the limelight, since many young swimming fans were rushing to get an autograph from 11-time Olympic medalist. One lucky fan was 11-year-old swimmer Kaan Çolakoğlu. Lochte posted his picture with the boy on Twitter, with a message that read: “11 yr old Paralympic swimmer, Kaan Golakoglu a Turkey swimmer wanted to meet his biggest role model..... Me.”

The photo was shared on the microblogging site hundreds of times.

Le Clos upset


Earlier in the night, Le Clos won in 48.82, ahead of American duo Thomas Shields, in 49.54sec, with Lochte, who captured gold in the 200m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle relay a day earlier, taking bronze in 49.59sec.

“I was a little nervous before the final. Lochte was a bit of an unknown. But I had him and Shields in the lanes next to mine, so it was a good set-up on both sides,” said the 20-year-old Le Clos, whose time was a championship record.

Japanese teen Daiya Seto won his first international title with victory in the 400m medley. The 18-year-old’s 3:59.15 pushed the seven-time European champion Laszlo Cseh, who clocked 4:00.50, into second place.

“I did not feel good in the butterfly leg, but I tried to fight. In the backstroke leg I could relax and finish well,” said Seto. “Even though this is short course, these are still world championships and I am very excited. This victory is going to give me confidence for the long course competitions.”

Additional report from AFP was used in this story

December/15/2012

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