21-time Olympic gold winner Michael Phelps, who yesterday won his 20th and 21st gold medals, has put himself in contention for yet another gold medal, finishing on top in the semi finals of the men’s 200m individual medley here today.
The 31-year-old American was first, ahead of second placed compatriot Ryan Lochte and Brazil’s Thiago Pereira, with the three top contenders for gold at the finals. Interestingly, all of the top 3 finishers at the second semi-final here today are in their 30s; Phelps is 31, Lochte 32, and Pereira 30.
Phelps won his 20th gold yesterday in the men’s 200m butterfly, one of his pet events, with the 21st coming with team USA as they won the 4x200m freestyle relay. That win also made his teammate Ryan Lochte the second most decorated Olympian of all time.
The American, who is considered the greatest Olympian of all time – and with good reason, came out of retirement ahead of Rio 2016 declaring he was ‘unhappy with the state of USA swimming’, and appears to have changed that almost single-handedly in Rio.
Competitor and countryman Lochte is also one of the world’s most successful swimmers, with seven individual Olympic gold medals to his credit. 32-year-old Lochte was Phelps’ teammate in Team USA’s 4x200m freestyle relay win.
Phelps clocked 1m55.78s for first place in the second semifinal, with Lochte finishing with a quick 1:56.28. In third place was Brazilian hope Thiago Pereira with 1:57:11; the 400m Individual Medley silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympics will be keen to put his country in for a medal hope at the finals tomorrow, but today’s semi-final was largely a battle between the two Americans.
The finals will be held on the 12th of August India.