Michael Phelps of the United States 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.
Michael Phelps was looking at the scoreboard while everyone else was still swimming… LMAO!!! pic.twitter.com/GiTytnfcp8
— TotalProSports.com (@TotalProSports) August 12, 2016
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.
His total medal haul has now risen to 26, including two silvers and two bronzes, with the 100 metres butterfly still to come.
Michael Phelps, we salute you!
22 gold medals – the Olympic GOAT! pic.twitter.com/S8r9SDhHOx
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) August 12, 2016
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.
MEN’S 200M INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY FINAL RESULTS
1. Michael Phelps (U.S.) 1:54.66
2. Kosuke Hagino (Japan) 1:56.61
3. Wang Shun (China) 1:57.05
4. Hiromasa Fujimori (Japan) 1:57.21
5. Ryan Lochte (U.S.) 1:57.47
6. Philip Heintz (Germany) 1:57.48
7. Thiago Pereira (Brazil) 1:58.02
8. Dan Wallace (Britain) 1:58.54