Michael Phelps celebrates in style after winning gold No. 20 in 200 fly
It's his signature event -- and he won it by the closest margin in Olympic history
Michael Phelps can truly retire without any regrets, as he took home gold, the 20th of his Olympic career, in his signature event -- the 200-meter butterfly -- on Tuesday night.
It was a vengeful win. This was the one that got away at London in 2012. He took silver in those Summer Games, losing to South Africa's Chad Le Clos. You know, the guy who danced in front of Phelps on Monday night.
On Tuesday night? Phelps touched the wall first and then finger-wagged Le Clos' way. Yes, the greatest swimmer ever went Dikembe Mutombo and wagged his finger as if to say, "No, no, no, no."
He followed that up with some fist pumps and by raising his arms to the crowd.
Phelps won the 200-meter fly by four one-hundreths of a second, hitting the wall in 1:53.36. The forgotten man in this race will be Japan's Masato Sakai, who touched in 1:53.40. Never before has an Olympic 200-meter fly final been such a close margin.
Hungary's Tamsas Kenderesi took bronze (1:53.62).
Le Clos? Off the podium completely. He had had a huge final turn and pushed, but Phelps and the field overwhelmed him. He finished in 1:54.06. From gold in London in 2012 to nothing in 2016.
Phelps, swimming in lane five, had the lead halfway through -- a 0.43 advantage on the field, at 53.3 seconds -- at never relinquished first from there on out.
Phelps is now the oldest swimmer to take gold in an individual event in Olympic men's swimming history. He now has 14 individual Olympic golds -- tied for the most in history. His 20 total medals is an Olympic record. This is the third gold medal in 200 fly in Phelps' career (Athens, 2004; Beijing, 2008).
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