14 Aug 2016

Rio 2016: Michael Phelps wins 22nd gold medal

4:01 pm on 14 August 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics - American swimmer Michael Phelps has won his 22nd Olympic gold medal following victory in the men's 200m medley.

Michael Phelps celebrates winning his 22nd Olympic Games gold medal, and his fourth gold at Rio after winning the 200m medley.

Michael Phelps celebrates winning his 22nd Olympic Games gold medal, and his fourth gold at Rio, after winning the 200m medley. Photo: AFP

He won his latest race in a time of 1:54:66.

It was his fourth gold of the Rio games, and he became the first swimmer to win four successive gold medals in one event by beating Ryan Lochte in the 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.

Brazil's Thiago Pereira went off fastest, leading from Phelps after the butterfly leg, with 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.

Phelps has won more than twice as many gold medals at the Games as the athlete second on the list, former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina (nine).

He 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 golds have been won at this Games, where he has added the 200m medley to the 200m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay.

- BBC

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