Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete in history and built on his legend in Rio with a dramatic victory over Sakai and Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi. Just over an hour later – and with a medal ceremony in between – he anchored the United States in a convincing relay win over Britain and Japan.

In another thrilling race over 200m, American teenager Katie Ledecky won thefreestyle to maintain her bid to match Debbie Meyer’s 1968 record of sweeping the discipline in 200m, 400m and 800m. Ledecky already has the 400m title and is strongly favoured to add the 800m crown on Friday.

And Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu also expanded her collection of Rio gold with victory in the women’s 200m individual medley.

But there was no doubt the night belonged to the 31-year-old Phelps and not only because he became the oldest man to win an individual swimming title at the Games.

The butterfly specialist was out to regain the title he won in 2004 and 2008 before losing on the touch to Chad le Clos four years ago in London after leading from the 50m turn.

“I was pretty fired up after that race,” he said his delighted celebrations. “This is the race I really wanted tonight. I really wanted that one back.

“That last 10 metres were not fun. Oh my gosh, I thought I was standing still.”

Phelps couldn’t quite shake his pursuers though and, after Le Clos faded, Sakai threatened in the closing metres to draw level or even overtake him. This time there was to be no repeat of 2012 and Phelps won by four hundredths in 1 minute 53.36 seconds. Le Clos finished out of the medals in fourth as bronze went to Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary.

Source: GNA/News Ghana

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