Two more golds for Phelps, Hosszu and Ledecky march on

Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:09am EDT
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By Mark Trevelyan, Alan Baldwin and Amy Tennery

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Michael Phelps won two gold medals on Tuesday, avenging his 200 meters butterfly defeat from the London Olympics and then anchoring the U.S. 4x200 freestyle team to victory on a night of high drama and emotion in the pool.

Katie Ledecky of the United States won her second gold medal of the meeting and Hungary's Katinka Hosszu her third, extending their dominance of women's swimming in feats that on any other day would have grabbed top billing.

Instead it was Phelps, the most successful Olympian of all time, who stole the limelight, extending his career medal tally to 25 by adding golds number 20 and 21.

In the 200 butterfly, he touched the wall in one minute, 53.36 seconds to beat Japan's Masato Sakai by 0.04 seconds, with Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi taking the bronze. Chad Le Clos of South Africa, Phelps' conqueror four years ago, finished fourth.

Phelps, who had announced his retirement after London but launched a comeback in 2014, then celebrated by climbing into the stands to embrace his fiancee Nicole and kiss his baby son Boomer.

Seventy-five minutes after racing, he was back in the water to swim the final leg of the 4x200 freestyle after Conor Dwyer, Townley Haas and Ryan Lochte had built a lead of 1.76 seconds.

The Americans touched in 7:00.66, with Britain second in 7:03.13 and Japan in third after James Guy overhauled Takeshi Matsuda on the final leg.

For Phelps, the butterfly victory was especially sweet after the sting of the London defeat, where he misjudged his final lunge for the wall to let Le Clos steal the gold medal.   Continued...

Michael Phelps competes in the 200m butterfly. REUTERS/David Gray