Fri, September 20, 2013

Michael Phelps wins another Olympic gold medal

By BOB MACKIN, Special to QMI Agency


Michael Phelps celebrates winning gold in the men's 100-metre butterfly at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Aug. 3, 2012. (MICHAEL DALDER/Reuters)


LONDON - American swimming legend Michael Phelps is going out on top.

History’s most-decorated Olympian won his 21st medal Friday — his 17th gold — in his last individual race, the 100-metre butterfly at the Aquatics Centre.

Phelps already declared London his final Games.

“My start of the meet wasn’t what we wanted, but I seemed to pick up some steam at the end of the meet, and was able to finish with two individual golds,” Phelps said. “To be able to finish that way, you can’t really finish any better. I’m very pleased with how everything went.”

Phelps was uncharacteristically slow off the blocks, but regained form in the second 50 metres and secured the victory over the final 15. His 51.21 seconds time was slower than his 50.86 seconds in the semifinal, but it was his third consecutive win in the event dating back to Athens 2004.

Chad Le Clos of South Africa and Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia tied for silver at 51.44 seconds.

Phelps also won gold in the 200M individual medley on Thursday, beating countryman Ryan Lochte. They combined on the men’s 4x200M freestyle relay team to win gold. Phelps had silver in the men’s 200M butterfly and men’s 4x100M freestyle relay. His only non-podium race was a fourth-place finish in the 400M individual medley.

“The sport has changed throughout my career,” he said. “There are a lot of young guys to take the sport to the next level. It’s pretty cool for me to be a part of that.”

Phelps said the reality of the moment had not hit him, because he is still in “meet mode.”

“Once I’m done, there’s going to be a lot more emotion,” he said.