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Farewell To A Legend: Michael Phelps Wins Gold On Final Night Of Swimming At #Rio2016

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Michael Phelps closed out the swimming events at Rio 2016, and bid his own personal farewell to the Olympic Games, in the only way imaginable: with another gold medal.

By helping the USA win the 4x100m medley relay at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Saturday night, the most decorated Olympian of all time took his final tally to 28 Olympic medals, 23 of them gold.

Having come out of retirement to compete in Rio, the 31-year-old won five golds and a silver at these, his fifth Games. Afterwards, he admitted it had been an emotional night.

“Getting off the bus and walking into the pool tonight, I almost felt myself starting to cry, last warm-up, last time putting on a suit, last time walking out in front of thousands of people representing my country. It’s insane. This is how I wanted to finish my career.

“I held back a little bit on the podium but there were some (tears) that were popping down. It just feels good to know that the hard work did pay off and I was able to fight through some of the times that I went through the last two years and get back to where I actually wanted to be.”

Phelps fights back the tears of his Olympic farewell (Photo: Getty Images/Clive Rose)

Ryan Murphy, the double backstroke champion, had given the Americans a spectacular start by breaking the world 100m record on the backstroke leg, clocking 51.85 seconds. It was the eighth and final world record of the week.

After 100m breaststroke bronze medalist Cody Miller was overhauled by world-record holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain, Phelps swam the fastest butterfly leg (50.33) to regain the lead. He provided Nathan Adrian with a decent lead to bring the USA quartet home on the freestyle leg in an Olympic record of 3:27.95, ahead of Great Britain and Australia.

It was the last of the 32 events at the pool and underlined the USA squad’s remarkable strength in depth as they could celebrate victory in exactly half the finals.

Earlier, the US women’s 4x100m medley team of Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer and Simone Manuel had earned their 15th gold in a convincing manner, clocking 3:53.13 to finish well clear of Australia and Denmark.

The Danes enjoyed a spectacular night with the title of fastest woman in the pool going to surprise 50m freestyle victor Pernille Blume, who sped to victory in 24.07, ahead of Manuel and Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus.

 

Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri was crowned the marathon man of the pool as he dominated the 1500m final almost from the start, inside world record pace until the last laps when his relentless rhythm finally began to give way to weariness.

He finished in 14:34.57, with Connor Jasper of the USA coming in nearly five seconds adrift but doing enough to hold off compatriot Italy’s Gabriele Detti.

Michael Phelps Olympic Games medal tally: 2000-2016

Date

Event

Rank

Age (+days)

13 Aug 2016

4 x 100m medley relay

 Gold

31-044

12 Aug 2016

100m butterfly

 Silver

 31-043

11 Aug 2016

200m individual medley

Gold

  31-042 

09 Aug 2016

4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2016

Gold

31-040

09 Aug 2016

200m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2016

Gold

31-040

07 Aug 2016

4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2016

Gold

31-038

04 Aug 2012

4 x 100m Medley Relay Men – Olympic Games 2012

Gold

27-035

03 Aug 2012

100m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2012

Gold

27-034

02 Aug 2012

200m Individual Medley Men – Olympic Games 2012

Gold

27-033

31 Jul 2012

4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2012

Gold

27-031

31 Jul 2012

200m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2012

Silver

27-031

29 Jul 2012

4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2012

Silver

27-029

28 Jul 2012

400m Individual Medley Men – Olympic Games 2012

Fourth

27-028

17 Aug 2008

4 x 100m Medley Relay Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-048

16 Aug 2008

100m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-047

15 Aug 2008

200m Individual Medley Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-046

13 Aug 2008

4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-044

13 Aug 2008

200m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-044

12 Aug 2008

200m Freestyle Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-043

11 Aug 2008

4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-042

10 Aug 2008

400m Individual Medley Men – Olympic Games 2008

Gold

23-041

21 Aug 2004

4 x 100m Medley Relay Men – Olympic Games 2004

Gold

19-052

20 Aug 2004

100m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2004

Gold

19-051

19 Aug 2004

200m Individual Medley Men – Olympic Games 2004

Gold

19-050

17 Aug 2004

4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2004

Gold

19-048

17 Aug 2004

200m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2004

Gold

19-048

16 Aug 2004

200m Freestyle Men – Olympic Games 2004

Bronze

19-047

15 Aug 2004

4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Men – Olympic Games 2004

Bronze

19-046

14 Aug 2004

400m Individual Medley Men – Olympic Games 2004

Gold

19-045

19 Sep 2000

200m Butterfly Men – Olympic Games 2000

Fifth

15-081

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