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The image could begin to tire , it proves increasingly sensational Michael Phelps on the top step of the podium. The swimmer 31 years has further enlarged its laurels collection Tuesday night in the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca , by covering a golden 20 th time in the 200 butterfly and a 21 th , with the relay 4 × 200 meters US. This still puts the highest summit of the hierarchy of the most successful athletes in the Olympics, far ahead of her runner, gymnast Larissa Latynina who had gleaned nine gold medals in the colors of the USSR between 1956 and 1964.
Phelps scooped the gold in the 200m butterfly final in 1 minute and 53.36 seconds, just ahead of Japan’s Masato Sakai (1:53.40).
The champ had led the field through the opening three laps; however he appeared to be tiring in the final 50 meters as Sakai looked to pounce.
They effectively went stroke for stroke as they approached the wall, with Phelps finding enough in the tank to out-touch the Japanese. Hungarian Tamas Kenderesi took the bronze in 1:53.62.
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It is Phelps’ third Olympic 200m butterfly gold, following victories in 2004 and 2008.The 200m butterfly is particularly close Phelps’ heart — he finished fifth in the event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a 15-year-old and was awarded silver four years ago following his wins in Athens and Beijing.
The 31-year-old had tears in his eyes as he stood on the medal podium as the United States national anthem played out in front of a captive audience at the Olympic Aquatics Center.
“The last ten meters were not funny, my god, I had the impression of being immobile, so could blow the prodigy. I wanted so much to have it again, this medal. ” When he decided to re-thread his jersey to train it two years ago, he explained later, he told his coach he ” wanted more than anything 200m butterfly ” , his favorite race. Satisfaction was visible on his face Tuesday when, after having completed the recon quest, Phelps sat on the plastic coil between the two central lines of the basin, has removed glasses and hat, then began to harangue the audience had already set the volume to maximum.