Updated 9:34 PM ET
(CBS/AP) OMAHA, Neb. - Michael Phelps won another duel with Ryan Lochte at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, edging his rival in their most stirring race yet to take the 200-meter individual medley.
Phelps had a significant advantage for Saturday night's race, coming in fresh while Lochte had to recover quickly after winning the 200 backstroke a half-hour earlier.
If Lochte was tired, he sure didn't look it, going stroke for stroke with the 14-time Olympic gold medalist. But Phelps led at every turn and got to the wall in 1 minute, 54.84 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.
Lochte was right behind in 1:54.93. The two slapped hands and headed off to London for the races that really matter.
Earlier Lochte won the 200-meter backstroke. He was sixth at the first turn, but the 27-year-old Floridian quickly moved toward the front and took the lead for good with a brilliant flip turn off the final wall. Pulling away, he won with a time of 1 minute, 54.54 seconds, second-fastest in the world this year behind Japan's Ryosuke Irie.
Lochte was assured of at least three individual events in London, and he hoped to make it four before the night was done. He hustled off the deck to prepare for the final in the 200 individual medley, getting only a 30-minute break before he faced Phelps.
Tyler Clary took the second spot in 1:54.88, giving him two individual races at the Olympics. He has bounced back just fine from the disappointment of finishing third behind Lochte and Phelps in the 400 IM.
Rebecca Soni also locked up a second individual race in London, cruising to an easy win in the 200 breaststroke. She was slow off the blocks and made the first turn in fourth place, but there was never any real doubt about this one. Soni surged to the lead on the second lap and steadily pulled away, winning with the fastest time in the world this year, 2: 21.13.
"I'm always a little nervous to push it too soon. I felt great the first 100, nice and long," Soni, who'll be looking to defend her 200 title in London. "I know I've trained the hardest I can so if I can hopefully bring home a gold, that would be amazing. If I can get back to my best time, that would also be great. I'm just going to have fun with it."
Micah Lawrence is heading to the Olympics for the first time, taking second place in 2:23.03. But 30-year-old Amanda Beard missed out on making a fifth Olympic team, fading to sixth (2:26.42).
"I can't be disappointed in myself," said Beard, who first came to prominence as a 14-year-old medalist at the Atlanta Olympics. "I'm very proud that I pushed myself. I'm 30 years old, so things aren't as easy as they were when I was younger. I still enjoy it. I'm still having fun. I'm not heartbroken."
At the start of the evening before a sellout crowd, Anthony Ervin was the top qualifier in the 50 freestyle semifinals with a time of 21.74. Nathan Adrian and Cullen Jones, who went 1-2 in the 100 free the previous night, also advanced to the Sunday final.
After going fastest in the morning prelims, the 31-year-old Ervin turned in another blistering performance from the middle lane. Never lifting his head, he went from one end of the pool to the other in 21.74 seconds, tied for the third-quickest time in the world this year.
Adrian tied with Josh Schneider for the second spot (21.81). Jones was next in 22.08.
Ervin was co-gold medalist in the 50 free at the 2000 Sydney Olympics but retired from swimming before he got a chance to defend his title. He returned to the pool last year.