Vanquished by le Clos, Phelps matches medal record
Chad le Clos denied Michael Phelps’ bid for a 200m butterfly treble by a hair’s breadth Tuesday, but silver allowed the US superstar to match the record for most medals in an Olympic career.
South Africa’s le Clos, third at the final turn, relentlessly reeled in Phelps and plunged past him at the finish to win in 1min 52.96sec.
Phelps, who had led at every turn in a quest to become the first man to win the same Olympic swimming event at three successive Games, was just five-hundredths of a second back in 1:53.01.
Japan’s Takeshi Matsuda earned bronze in 1:53.21.
Le Clos thrust his body out of the water in delight upon seeing the scoreboard. Then he perched on a lane rope as he tried to absorb his achievement.
Phelps has dominated the 200m fly for a decade. He owns the four fastest times in history and his world record of 1min 51.51sec is more than one second faster than the second-best performer in history.
When he saw the result, he flipped his cap away in disappointment.© AFP 2013