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United States’ gold medal winner Michael Phelps competes in the men’s 200-meter individual medley final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, on Thursday. Photo: AP
United States’ gold medal winner Michael Phelps competes in the men’s 200-meter individual medley final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, on Thursday. Photo: AP

Rio Olympics: Michael Phelps wins 22nd gold in 200m individual medley

Michael Phelps becomes the first swimmer to win the same event at four consecutive Games

Rio De Janeiro: Michael Phelps of the US won the Olympic 200 metres individual medley on Thursday to capture the 22nd gold medal of his career and become the first swimmer to win the same event at four consecutive Games.

Japan’s Kosuke Hagino won silver and Wang Shun of China took bronze, both moving dramatically through the field on the final length after turning in fifth and seventh place.

It was yet another extraordinary swim for Phelps, 31, who has now won two individual and two relay golds at his fifth Olympics, two years after coming out of retirement.

Also Read: Olympic Games: So near yet so far

His total medal haul has now risen to 26, including two silvers and two bronzes, with the 100 metres butterfly still to come.

Brazil’s Thiago Pereira went off fastest, leading from Phelps after the butterfly leg, with Ryan Lochte and Hagino neck-and-neck just behind.

With the Rio crowd’s excitement mounting, the three turned almost together after the backstroke, with Lochte a fraction ahead.

Phelps led from Pereira and Lochte at the final turn and powered on as the other two faded, opening the way for Hagino and Wang to grab the two other medals.

Phelps’ four consecutive golds in the same event are unique for a swimmer, and place him in the same Olympic pantheon as Al Oerter in the discus and Carl Lewis in the long jump. Reuters

Also Read: Why swimming beats athletics in world records hands down

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