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?
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.
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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.
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.
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.