There's not much Ryan Lochte hasn't done this week at the world swimming championships.
He rescued the United States from possible defeat in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay Friday with a come-from-behind swim -- about 45 minutes after he won the 200 backstroke. He's got five medals -- four gold -- and the only world record so far.
That kind of success used to be the domain of Michael Phelps.
Now it's Lochte's world and Phelps is just swimming in his wake.
"If you go by medals alone, I would say yes. It's a definite change of the guard," said American Tyler Clary, third in the 200 backstroke. "The cool thing about swimming is your times speak for themselves. In pretty much every one of his races, he's won it hands down."
Phelps also has five medals, but just one individual gold with two days remaining.
Lochte carried his teammates in the relay Friday after Phelps and Ricky Berens lost the lead. Lochte trailed France's Fabien Gilot by half a body length until the final 100 meters, when he moved ahead off his second turn.
From there, Lochte increased his lead to nearly two body lengths and cruised into the wall with a time of 7 minutes, 2.67 seconds. The Americans have won the event in every international competition since the 2004 Athens Olympics.
"We had a pretty good fight to keep it," Phelps said. "I don't think there's anybody else we want to have on the end of the relay than Ryan. We all set it up and he brought it home."
In his only final of the night, Phelps led off the relay and was briefly under world-record pace on his opening lap against old rival Paul Biedermann of Germany. Phelps led after 100 meters, then dropped to third while swimming slower than Biedermann on his final two laps.
"I would've liked to have swum a little faster on the leadoff," Phelps said. "But I think I've said that almost every day so far -- hopefully with more training I can swim faster."
Peter Vanderkaay restored the Americans' lead before Berens lost it again on the third leg, leaving Lochte to put them back on top.
"Once we hit around the 75 (meter) mark, I knew it was over," Lochte said. "I knew I had a lot of energy left, and I was going to hit that second wall and just go for it."
That's what Lochte did earlier in the 200 backstroke, leading all the way to win by 1.15 seconds over Japan's Ryosuke Irie and regain the title he first won in 2007.
Lochte touched in 1:52.96, giving the United States its seventh consecutive world title in the event. Irie finished in 1:54.11, and Clary took the bronze at 1:54.69.
"I don't think that was a good time for me," Lochte said. "There are some things I got to work on."
Earlier in the meet, Lochte won the 200 free and 200 individual medley, beating Phelps both times. He also set a world record in the 200 IM -- the first world mark since high-tech bodysuits were banned 19 months ago.
"I have a lot of confidence, especially what happened last year," said Lochte, who won six golds to Phelps' five at the Pan Pacific championships a year ago.
And building even more confidence with the London Olympics just over a year away.