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Phelps wins 4th straight 200 IM gold, Lochte fails to medal

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Ahead of the final of the men’s 200 individual medley, most of the conversation focused on the race being the final Olympic duel between Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. Would Phelps win a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal in the event? Or would Lochte (or someone else) pull off an incredible upset and end the streak?

MORE: Phelps wins 200 IM, Lochte fails to medal

Phelps did what Phelps has done throughout his illustrious career, taking the gold in dominant fashion with a time of 1:54.66. As for Lochte, after earning a medal in each of those last three races he fell off down the stretch and failed to medal, finishing fifth.

WATCH: “Who knows, I might be back” – Lochte

Japan’s Kasuke Hagino, who won the 400 IM, stormed back to take silver with China’s Wang Shun taking bronze. Brazil’s Thiago Perreira, spurred on by a raucous home crowd, got off to a fast start but his descent was even steeper than Lochte’s. Even with Phelps at the 100 meter mark, Perreira fell behind on the breaststroke portion of the race and ultimately finished seventh.

WATCH: Nearing the end, Phelps proving he’s still the best

Phelps has now won 22 Olympic gold medals, and with the men’s 100 butterfly remaining on his schedule he could very well add another medal to that count in the 100 meter butterfly.

WATCH: Phelps qualifies for 100 butterfly final

Less than an hour after completing the 200 IM Phelps swam his semifinal heat in the 100 butterfly, qualifying for the final with a time of 51.60 seconds. A 23 gold medal (27th medal overall) on the way? At this point, it would be foolish to bet against Phelps adding to his tally.

David Taylor will not defend wrestling world title

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David Taylor waited five years to get his chance at the world championships. The wait will also be a little longer than expected to defend his world title.

Taylor suffered a knee injury in a May 6 match and underwent surgery, according to his social media. He was to face Pat Downey in two weeks for the U.S.’ spot at 86kg at September’s world championships, but that’s not happening now.

“The nature of competing as a professional athlete is a delicate one,” was posted on Taylor’s accounts. “One year, you find yourself winning the tilte of the 86 kg World Champion and being voted best pound for pound wrestler on earth. In the blink of an eye, you lose yourself in thought over the noisy lull of the MRI machine, hoping that the pain in your knee isn’t what you fear most.”

Taylor, 28, was one of three U.S. men to earn maiden world titles last October in Budapest, along with fellow former NCAA standouts J’den Cox and Kyle Dake.

Taylor upset Iran’s Olympic and world champion Hassan Yazdani in his first match at worlds. He suffered a knee injury in his second match and said he was kicked in the face in the semifinals. He then dumped Turkey’s top-seeded Fatih Erdin in the final, scoring a two-point takedown in the first 10 seconds and getting a 12-2 tech fall.

“To be able to earn it the way that I earned it, there’s no easy way,” Taylor said. “I wrestled every single best guy every single round.”

Taylor became the oldest first-time Olympic or world champion for USA Wrestling since 2006. He had finished second or third at trials for the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 World teams and the 2016 Olympic team. He is one of four men to win the NCAA Wrestler of the Year award multiple times, doing so in 2012 and 2014 for Penn State.

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MORE: Helen Maroulis on why she missed world team trials

Sam Girard, Olympic short track champion, surprisingly retires at age 22

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Sam Girard, who avoided a three-skater pileup to win the PyeongChang Olympic 1000m, retired from short track speed skating at age 22, saying he lost the desire to compete.

“I leave my sport satisfied with what I have accomplished,” Girard said in a press release. “This decision was very well thought through. I am at peace with the choice that I’ve made and am ready to move onto the next step.”

Girard and girlfriend and fellow Olympic skater Kasandra Bradette announced their careers end together in a tearful French-language press conference in Quebec on Friday.

Girard detailed the decision in a letter, the sacrifices made to pursue skating. Notably, moving from his hometown of Ferland-et-Boilleau, population 600, to Montreal in 2012. His hobbies had been of the outdoor variety, but he now had to drive an hour and a half from the training center just to go fishing.

In PyeongChang, Girard led for most of the 1000m final, which meant he avoided chaos behind him on the penultimate lap of the nine-lap race. Hungarian Liu Shaolin Sandor‘s inside pass took out South Koreans Lim Hyo-Jun and Seo Yi-Ra, leaving just Girard and American John-Henry Krueger.

Girard maintained his lead, crossing .214 in front of Krueger to claim the title. He also finished fourth in the 500m and 1500m and earned bronze in the relay.

“My first Olympics, won a gold medal, can’t ask for more,” he said afterward.

Though Girard was already accomplished — earning individual silver medals at the 2016 and 2017 Worlds — he came to PyeongChang as the heir apparent to Charles Hamelin, a roommate on the World Cup circuit whom Girard likened to a big brother. Girard earned another world silver medal this past season.

Hamelin, after taking individual gold in 2010 and 2014, left PyeongChang without an individual medal in what many expected to be his last Olympics. However, he went back on a retirement vow and continued to skate through the 2018-19 season.

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MORE: J.R. Celski explains decision to retire