Then he made it two in a row in the backstroke.
Lochte pushed the early pace, leading at the first flip, and had enough to hold off his challengers. His winning time was 1 minute, 53.79 seconds — 0.45 ahead of Poland's Radoslaw Kawecki. Clary settled for bronze.
The race was the first of three that Lochte had in about a 90-minute span. He also qualified for the semifinals of the 100 butterfly, and was finishing the night by swimming the second leg on the relay.
Cate Campbell of Australia easily won the women's 100 free. She pushed the pace from right the start, making the flip more than a half-second under world-record pace. She had more than enough to hold on, touching in 52.34, a half-body length in front of silver-medalist Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden.
Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands edged Franklin for the bronze by 0.05.
"I don't think it really sunk in until I got out of the pool and I heard all the Aussies in the crowd chanting," Campbell said. "In the water I was just like, 'Why are all these people hugging me? What's going on?'"
There was no time for Franklin to mope.
After climbing from the pool, she took a shortcut to the training pool to get ready for the 200 back — her favorite event. Franklin posted a time of 2:06.46, giving her the prime middle lane for the final. Elizabeth Pelton of the U.S. also advanced with the third-fastest time.
Yuliya Efimova of Russia pulled off an upset in the women's 200 breaststroke, beating Rikke Pedersen one night after the Danish swimmer set a world record in the semifinals.
Efimova got to the wall just ahead of Pedersen, winning in 2:19.41. Pederson will leave Barcelona with her name in the record book but only a silver medal around her neck, touching in 2:20.08 — nearly a second slower than her semis time of 2:19.11. Micah Lawrence of the U.S. grabbed the bronze.
Florent Manaudou of France went fastest in the semifinals of the chaotic 50 freestyle — a mad dash from end of the pool to the other. His time of 21.37 was just ahead of American Anthony Ervin (21.42). Nathan Adrian of the U.S. and Brazil's Cesar Cielo tied for third at 21.60.