Michael Phelps' final individual swim of Rio Olympics ends in a three-way tie for silver

You want truly unpredictable when it comes to Michael Phelps?

Here's something nobody had heading into Friday night: the greatest swimmer of all time finishing in a three-way tie for the silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly.

But that's what happened in what Phelps has maintained will be the final individual swim of his Olympic career. Phelps was sixth at the 50-meter/halfway turn. He made up water, but not quite enough, falling to Singapore swimmer Joseph Schooling, who touched the wall in 50.39 -- setting an Olympic record. It's Singapore's first medal in swimming.

Phelps, South African Chad le Clos and Hungarian Laszlo Cseh all had a time of 51.14.

And that means there is no bronze.

I gotta say, this three-way-tie-for-silver thing doesn't sit well with me. Why not just have those three swim the race again in a little while? Three guys going for two medals in an eight-lane pool. You're telling me that wouldn't be the most riveting race of the night? Absolutely.

But that's not how it goes. Phelps, who set the world in this event in 2009 (49.82), said on NBC on Friday night: "Obviously I always want to be faster and I always want to be at the top of the medal podium, but that's what I could do today. So, it's OK. I have another race tomorrow and we'll get ready for that. But watching Joe and what he's done over the last two years -- he's been swimming great. 50.3 is obviously a really good time and a very respectable time. My hat's definitely off to him."

Phelps' final race will come on Saturday night, when he'll swim in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay. He's now up to 27 career Olympic medals, 22 of them gold.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his ninth season reporting on college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics... Full Bio

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