Olympics: Phelps delivers a performance for the ages to win 200m butterfly gold

Michael Phelps on the podium with Japan's Masato Sakai (left) and Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi after winning the men's 200m butterfly.
Michael Phelps on the podium with Japan's Masato Sakai (left) and Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi after winning the men's 200m butterfly. PHOTO: REUTERS
Michael Phelps competes in the 200m butterfly semi-final.
Michael Phelps competes in the 200m butterfly semi-final. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO - At 31 years and 40 days old, Michael Phelps continues to make history. The American won the 200m butterfly gold in 1min 53.36sec on Tuesday (Aug 9), becoming the oldest winner of an individual swimming event.

Japan's Masato Sakai took silver in 1:53.40 at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi claimed bronze (1:53.62).

Phelps has also become the first swimmer to win four medals in an individual event, having won 200m fly gold at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games as well as silver at the 2012 London Games.

"I'm just thankful, that's for sure, I wanted that one back," said Phelps, who was edged out by South African Chad le Clos by 0.05sec four years ago. "That event was kind of like my bread and butter, and that was the last time I'll ever swim it... There wasn't a shot in hell I was losing it. And if I did, every ounce that I had was left in the pool.

"Just being able to see the number one next to my name again one more time in the 200 fly - I couldn't have scripted it any better."

A third gold in this four-lap race has seen him equal his own mark of three titles in an individual Olympic event. The 31-year-old is also a three-time Olympic champion in the 200m individual medley and the 100m butterfly.

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