It was another night of glory for Michael Phelps in the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday (9 August) night as the great American swimmer won two more gold medals, taking his unequalled tally to 21, with a total of 25 Olympic medals.
Phelps, who came out of retirement to compete at Rio 2016, which is his fifth and final Olympic Games, avenged his defeat by Chad le Clos at London 2012 by winning the 200m butterfly. He then anchored the 4x200m freestyle relay team to victory ahead of Great Britain and Japan.
Phelps’s victory over Le Clos (the South African finished fourth) must have been a sweet feeling after his rival had publicly stated that he intended to break the American’s butterfly world records in Rio.
Phelps held off Japan’s Masato Sakai by a mere four-hundredths of a second, with Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi claiming bronze.
The victory delighted Phelps, who held up one finger, then sat on a lane rope and egged on the roaring crowd at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium.
Only 70 minutes later, after finding time to give his baby son Boomer a cuddle at poolside following his victory ceremony, Phelps had a much less demanding task to anchor the USA men’s relay quartet, starting off with a 10m lead following fine work from Conor Dwyer, Townley Haas and Ryan Lochte.
It was Phelps’s third gold of the week – he had helped the USA to the 4x100m freestyle relay gold on Sunday, and he has three more chances to add to his stunning haul.