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21 gold medals! Unstoppable Michael Phelps secures historic triumph in Rio

The American earned his 200m butterfly win with a time of 1.53.36, before prevailing as part of the US 4x200m freestyle team.

United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 200m butterfly.
United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the gold medal in the 200m butterfly.
Image: Michael Sohn

Updated at 3.49

MICHAEL PHELPS WON his 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals Tuesday after pulverising fierce rival Chad le Clos to regain his 200m butterfly title in a grudge race bristling with emotion, before succeeding as part of the victorious US team in the 4x200m free.

The American, the most decorated athlete in Olympic history, added to his staggering title tally by overpowering the South African in the Rio final, clocking 1min 53.36sec.

Le Clos, the defending champion, faded badly in the final 50m and finished out of the medals as Japan’s Masato Sakai came through for a surprise silver in 1:53.40 with Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi taking bronze in 1:53.62.

World record-holder Phelps, who won the title in 2004 and 2008, celebrated by pointing to the ceiling and pumping his fists, gesturing to the crowd to “bring the noise” after becoming the oldest individual gold medallist in Olympic swimming history at 31.

Competing in his fifth and final Olympics, victory was twice as sweet for Phelps after clashing with le Clos in the media since losing to the South African in an epic tussle in London.

Phelps earned his 21st medal in the 4x200m free later Tuesday, as the US team won their race convincingly, with Britain taking silver and Japan claiming bronze.

A list of Michael Phelps’ 21 Olympic gold medals after winning the 200m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday:

Athens 2004

100m butterfly

200m butterfly

200m individual medley

400m individual medley

4x200m freestyle relay

4x100m medley relay

Beijing 2008

200m freestyle

100m butterfly

200m butterfly

200m individual medley

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400m individual medley

4x100m freestyle relay

4x200m freestyle relay

4x100m medley relay

London 2012

100m butterfly

200m individual medley

4x200m freestyle relay

4x100m individual medley

Rio 2016

200m butterfly

4x100m freestyle relay

4x200m freestyle relay

Additional reporting by Paul Fennessy

© AFP 2016


Source: The42: Rio 2016 Olympics/SoundCloud

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