12 August 2016
Record-breaking Michael Phelps of the U.S. has become the first swimmer to win four successive Olympic gold medals in one event by beating Ryan Lochte in the 200m individual medley.
Phelps, 31, won his 22nd gold — more than any other Olympian — as fellow American Lochte, 32, faded to a fifth-place finish in Rio.
Phelps finished almost two seconds clear of Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, with China’s Shun Wang taking bronze.
Phelps, who swam one 1:54.66 seconds, has won more than twice as many gold medals at the Games as the athlete who is second on the list of gold medals haulers.
Former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina has nine.
The American also has two silver medals and two bronze medals.
Phelps retired after London 2012, but returned to the sport in 2014.
Four of his 22 gold medals have been won at these Games, where the American has added the 200m medley to the 200m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay.
He could also win his fourth successive gold in the 100m butterfly after qualifying for Saturday’s final shortly after his 200m medley victory.
In the women’s 200m breaststroke, Rie Kaneto won Japan’s seventh gold medal at Rio 2016 as Great Britain’s Chloe Tutton narrowly finished outside the medals.
Kaneto, 27, put controversial Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova — allowed to compete at Rio after successfully appealing against a doping suspension — into silver.
China’s Jinglin Shi won bronze, just six one-hundreths of a second ahead of fourth-placed Tutton.
Tutton’s British teammate, the 20-year-old Molly Renshaw, finished sixth.
The U.S. won the men’s 200m backstroke title for the sixth Olympics in a row with Ryan Murphy taking gold.
Murphy, who also won 100m backstroke gold on Monday, sealed the victory in a time of 1:53:62.
Australia’s Mitchell Larkin finished second and Russia’s Evgeny Rylov set a new European record as he won bronze.
Murphy follows in the footsteps of fellow Americans who all also won the 200m Olympic backstroke title.
These are Brad Bridgewater (1996), Lenny Krayzelburg (2000), Aaron Peirsol (2004), Lochte (2008) and Tyler Clary (2012).