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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Michael Phelps sets all-time Olympic record with 19th medal

Michael Phelps sets all-time Olympic record with 19th medal







In the final 10 meters of his history-making race, Michael Phelps was alone in the open – a fitting margin for an Olympic icon who is now the most decorated medal-winner of all time.
Swimming the anchor leg of the men’s 200-freestyle relay, Phelps held onto a significant lead and delivered the United States another gold medal – the 15th of his career and the 19th time he has stood on an Olympic podium. He’s now alone in the overall medal count, having broken a tie with Russian gymnast Larissa Latynina as the most-decorated athlete in the history of the Games.




[Photos: Michael Phelps]

Phelps entered the night with 17 medals, wining silver in the 200-meter butterfly and then gold in the 4x200, swimming the two races a little over one hour apart.

Just before the 4x200 began, Phelps pulled his teammates into a huddle and expressed his gratitude for their part in the moment. He delivered one last request.

"I wanted a big lead," Phelps said. "I told the guys, 'Get me a big lead.' And they gave it to me."

The crowd in London’s Aquatics Centre thundered in applause for much of the race as the United States’ Ryan Lochte – one of Phelps chief rivals in the last four years – got the Americans off to a blazing start. It was a change of sorts for Lochte, who anchored the 4x100 silver medal effort – in which the U.S. was overtaken by the French in the closing moments. This time, U.S. men’s coach Gregg Troy put Lochte in the lead-off leg, offering him an opportunity to get Phelps the lead he desired.

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