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Olympics’ most decorated athlete: Phelps wins 22nd gold

/ 10:29 AM August 12, 2016
United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter individual medley final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AP Photo

United States’ Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men’s 200-meter individual medley final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. AP Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO—Michael Phelps seized another slice of Olympic history Thursday with a dominant victory in the 200m individual medley at the Rio Games, his fourth straight in the event.

Phelps became the third Olympian to win the same individual event at four straight Games, joining discus thrower Al Oerter and Carl Lewis in the long jump in achieving the feat.

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Lurking in second until the end of the breaststroke third leg, he surged home on the closing freestyle lap to win in 1min 54.66sec.

That was almost two seconds in front of silver medalist Kosuke Hagino of Japan, the 400m individual medley champion who powered from fifth at the final wall to touch in 1:56.61.

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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 hang on and finished fifth.

READ: Olympics: True bromance as Phelps and Lochte eye Rio finale

Brazilian contender Thiago Pereira, buoyed by an ecstatic crowd, led after the opening butterfly lap and was equal second at the halfway point, but faded to finish seventh.

Phelps claimed his 22nd Olympic gold medal and his fourth at the Rio Olympics.

READ: Olympics: Sealed with a kiss as Michael Phelps roars to 21 golds

The most decorated Olympian of all time was back in the pool later on Thursday in the 100m butterfly semi-finals.

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TAGS: 200m individual medley, Kosuke Hagino, Michael Phelps, Olympics, Olympics 2016, Rio Olympics, Ryan Lochte, Swimming, Wang Shun
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