Swimmer Michael Phelps added another gold medal to his kitty in the ongoing Olympics at Rio. Phelps clinched the 200m individual medley, his fourth gold at Rio.
With his new feat, Phelps joined discus thrower Al Oerter and Carl Lewis in the long jump as the only Olympians to win the same individual event at four straight Games.
Overall, Phelps now has 22 Olympic gold medals. And he still has a chance to win two more at Rio. 100 m butterfly is slated to take place later today and 4×100 medley relay is scheduled to take place on Saturday.
“I don’t know if I’m in better shape than I was in 2008,” said 31-year-old Phelps while talking about his fitness when compared to the year he won all eight gold medals in Beijing.
In the 200m individual medley, Phelps lurked in second until the end of the breaststroke. In the third leg of the medley he surged home on the closing freestyle lap to win in 1min 54.66sec. That was almost two seconds in front of silver medallist Kosuke Hagino of Japan, the 400m individual medley champion who powered from fifth at the final wall to touch in 1:56.61.
China’s Wang Shun was third in 1:57.05. Phelps’ old foe Ryan Lochte led at the halfway point, but the world record-holder in the event couldn’t keep up and finished fifth.
Bob Bowman, Phelps’ coach praised his hard work and determination.
“You just have no idea how difficult it is for anybody to win an Olympic gold medal…Michael has done it so frequently it really is hard to put it into perspective because every one of those was hard….Look at his numbers compared to everybody else. It’s not because of the talent it’s because of the work. It’s a combination, but work is the thing that did it – particularly this time around,” said Bowman.
Now he seems capable of sweeping all six of his events, Bowman added.
(With inputs from agencies)