Threatened with the chance of disqualification at the FINA World Championships, Ryan Lochte unleashed an alternate tumble-turn regardless.
Ryan Lochte said he was aware of the risk he was running in the 200-metre individual medley final at the FINA World Championships in Kazan.
Lochte made it four straight world titles in the event, but not before his alternative tumble-turn from breaststroke to freestyle as he headed into the final lap.
The American first displayed his intentions when remaining face up for several kicks at the same point of the heat, in which he finished fifth - before he again prolonged his time with his stomach facing up before reverting to freestyle.
"I've never heard a rule saying that you can't do that, but I think they're going to start changing the rules now," Lochte told NBC's Universal Sports.
"I took that chance tonight going into it. They said you might get disqualified."
Lochte said the result - which saw him clock one minute, 55.81 seconds to beat Thiago Pereira (1:56.65) and Wang Shun (1:56.81) - was a major confidence boost less than one year out from the Rio 2016 opening ceremony.
"Just goes to show all that hard work and dedication I've put in the pool, I mean it pays off," Lochte said.
"This is just kind of a stepping stone to what I want to accomplish in Rio."