Michael Phelps became the first swimmer ever to win four consecutive golds in the same event by winning his fourth consecutive 200m individual medley Olympic title on Thursday night. He stopped the clock at one minute, 54.66 seconds, just off Ryan Lochte’s world record of 1:54.00.
Phelps earned his 13th individual Olympic gold. His gold also marks the first time a swimmer earned at least three gold medals in four different Olympic Games.
"Things starting hitting me this morning. I thought, ‘Wow, I only have to put a racing suit on two more times after tonight and I only have to warm down one more time after tonight,’" Phelps said through USA Swimming. "Those little tiny things I’ve been saying to Bob (Bowman) every day. It’s like wow, tonight’s my last 200 ever. That’s a very exciting one."
Japan’s Kosuke Hagino won the silver medal behind Phelps in a time of 1:56.61 also won the gold in the 400m IM earlier in the week.
China’s Wang Shun took the bronze in a time of 1:57.61.
Lochte, a three-time Olympic medalist in this event, finished fifth with his time of 1:57.47. Phelps raced in the semifinal of the 100m butterfly about 30 minutes after exiting the pool from the 200m IM.
"I felt good right before that race and during that race, I don’t know, something happened and it just wasn’t there," Lochte said to media. "I gave it my all and I guess it just wasn’t that good.”