Michael Phelps had a shot at a couple historic achievements during the 200m Butterfly Tuesday (31) — did he pull it off?
The answer is yes and no. Phelps got out-touched by five one-hundredths of a second to take second place to Chad Le Clos of South Africa. Which gives Phelps his 18th overall Olympic medal, tying him with gymnast Larisa Latynina as the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, across all sports and countries.
However, if Phelps had won the 200m Butterfly at the 2012 Olympics, he would have become the first male to win the same event at three consecutive Olympics. The silver medal breaks that streak.
It was rather a surprising finish, as Phelps had led the entire way but then seemed to slow just a little at the very end and Le Clos’ hand snuck in there to touch first. Phelps was visibly upset after the results were posted on the big board. He threw his swim cap and quickly exited the pool.
It was Phelps second silver of the games; his first gold came later in the day. Phelps still has three events left — the 200m IM, the 100m Fly and the 4×100 Medley relay.
UPDATE: The U.S. men won the 4×200 Freestyle relay (Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Michael Phelps), which means Phelps now stands alone as the most decorated Olympic athlete, any country, any sport, Summer or Winter. So congratulations to Michael Phelps.