RIO DE JANEIRO: American swimmer Michael Phelps won his 23rd Olympic gold in the men’s 4x100m medley relay in what he has said really will be his last Olympic Games.
Phelps, 31, secured his fifth gold of Rio 2016 when he teamed up with Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller and Nathan Adrian to set a Games record of 3min 27.95sec. Britain took silver, 2.71sec back, with Australia third.
The US also successfully defended their title in the women’s 4x100m medley. Kathleen Baker, Lilly King, Dana Vollmer and Simone Manuel clocked 3:53.13 to win USA’s 1,000th gold at a summer Games.
Phelps said later: “Getting off the bus and walking to the pool tonight, I pretty much felt myself starting to crack. Last warm-up, last time putting on a suit, last time walking out in front of people, representing my country… it’s insane.
“This is how I wanted to finish my career. I’ve lived a dream come true. Being able to cap it off with these Games is just the perfect way to finish.”
Phelps bowed out with 28 medals from five Olympics after making his debut in 2000. That is 10 more than the next best. Gymnast Larisa Latynina, who competed for the Soviet Union between 1956 and 1964, won 18, nine of them gold.
He added: “This all started with one little dream as a kid to change the sport of swimming and try to do something nobody has ever done. It turned out pretty cool. I’ve lived a dream come true. Being able to cap it off with these Games… it’s just the perfect way to finish.”
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