More records fall as Phelps collects 19th gold

Mon Aug 8, 2016 11:03am EDT
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By Mark Trevelyan and Alan Baldwin

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Michael Phelps picked up his 19th gold medal on a second night of world records in the Olympic pool, with Katie Ledecky cruising to women's 400 meters freestyle victory and Britain's Adam Peaty running away with the men's 100 breaststroke.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom extended Saturday's record spree in winning the 100 meters butterfly, and Peaty and Ledecky followed suit in the next two finals before the U.S. men's team, with Phelps swimming second, took the 4x100 freestyle relay.

Six swimming world records have now fallen in two days of competition, and the United States moved level with Australia on two gold medals each.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, now has 19 golds, two silvers and two bronzes. For his relay team mates Caeleb Dressel and Ryan Held, it was their first Olympic medal.

London Olympics 100 freestyle champion Nathan Adrian swam the final leg for the Americans, touching first ahead of France and Australia.

"On the block I thought my heart was going to explode, I was so hyped, so excited," said Phelps, competing in his fifth Olympics.

Ledecky, the rising U.S. swimming sensation, shaved 1.91 seconds off her own world record on the way to the 400m gold, the first stage of a rare treble she hopes to complete along with the 200m and 800m.

"It's pure happiness," the 19-year-old told reporters.   Continued...

Michael Phelps of the US is seen with a red cupping mark on his shoulder as he competes in the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay Final at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 7, 2016. .  REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler/File Photo