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PHOTOS: Counting Michael Phelps's 28 Olympic medals

By Laxmi Negi
Last updated on: August 14, 2016 09:05 IST
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Michael Phelps signed off in style, clinching his 23rd gold medal in his final Olympic race, the 4x100 medley.

The greatest Olympian ever now has 28 (gulp!) Olympic medals, including three silver and two bronze.

The 31 year old is also the first swimmer to win the same event at four consecutive Games. He joined Al Oerter (discus) and Carl Lewis (long jump), both of whom won a gold medal in four successive Olympics in the same event.

Michael Phelps

IMAGE: Gold medallist Michael Phelps celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the men's 200m Individual Medley final, on Day 6, of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

American swimming legend Michael Phelps finished his Olympic career in grand style, winning his 23rd gold medal, as the United States triumphed in the 4x100 metres medley relay at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, on Saturday.

The 31-year-old had sent out a warning to his rivals, saying he still has 'some unfinished business' left going into the Rio Olympics.

Having ended his career once at the London Olympics four years ago, Phelps entered the Rio Olympics pool for his second swansong, determined to bow out on his own terms.

2016 Olympics
4x100m medley 3:27.95
100m Butterfly 51.14
200m individual medley 1:54.66
200m butterfly 1:53.36
4×100m freestyle 3:09.92
4× 200m freestyle 7:00.66

And here we are, still counting his gold medals.

Phelps, who swam the third butterfly leg, ends the most successful Olympic career of all time with 23 gold, three silver and two bronze.

Ryan Murphy broke the World record for the 100 backstroke in the lead-off, clocking 51.85 seconds to eclipse the 51.94s that compatriot Aaron Peirsol swam in 2009.

Britain's Olympic champion Adam Peaty then swam the breaststroke leg in a scorching 56.59 seconds to move his team up from sixth to first place, with Cody Miller touching second for the US at half-way.

A huge roar went up when Phelps hit the water for the butterfly and then caught and overhauled Britain's James Guy to hand a 0.41 second cushion to Nathan Adrian.

After the race, Phelps raised his alarms aloft to acknowledge the cheers from the crowd, while fiancee Nicole wiped tears from her eyes as she cradled their baby, Boomer, in the crowd.

The Americans finished in three minutes, 27.95 seconds, an Olympic record, winning by 1.29 seconds.

On Friday, Joseph Schooling had won the men's 100 metres butterfly final to secure Singapore's first Olympic gold medal and deny Phelps a gold medal in the last individual race of the American's extraordinary career.

Phelps, the defending champion and World record holder who is heading into retirement -- again -- after Rio, finished second in a three-way dead heat with two of his greatest rivals -- South Africa's Chad Le Clos and Hungary's Laszlo Cseh.

IMAGE: Nathan Adrian, Ryan Murphy, Michael Phelps and Cody Miller of the United States celebrate winning gold in the Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay Final on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

He had stormed home in the 200 metres individual medley final on Thursday night to capture the the 22nd gold medal of his career and became the first swimmer to win the same event at four consecutive Games.

Phelps clocked 1 minute, 54.66 seconds for a comfortable winning margin of 1.95 seconds. Japan's 400 IM champion Kosuke Hagino won silver and Wang Shun of China took bronze.

Phelps's four consecutive golds in the same event are unique for a swimmer, and place him in the same Olympic pantheon as fellow-Americans Al Oerter in the discus and Carl Lewis in the long jump.

This was the American's fourth gold medal at the Rio Games and 22nd overall after he won gold medals 20 and 21 within an hour on Tuesday night.

Phelps now has 28 (gulp!) Olympic medals, including three silver and two bronze medals.

On Tuesday, he made up for one of the rare losses in his brilliant career by winning the 200 metres butterfly, a win that sent him climbing into the stands to kiss his 3-month-old son Boomer.

An hour later, he returned to take what amounted to nothing more than a thumping victory in anchoring the Americans' 4x200m freestyle relay gold.

Michael Phelps

IMAGE: Phelps celebrates on the podium at the London 2012 Olympics. Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images

At the 2012 London Olympics, which he had declared would be his last, Phelps won four gold and six medals, but walked away filled with the regret that he simply went through the motions rather than embracing the moment.

2012 Olympics
100m butterfly 51.21
200m medley 1:54.27
4× 200m freestyle 6:59.70
4× 100m medley 3:29.35
200 m butterfly 1:53.01
4× 100m freestyle 3:10.38

'Going into '12, I just didn't want to do it,' he said at the US Olympics swim trials in Nebraska last month.

Michael Phelps

IMAGE: Phelps at the medal ceremony, Beijing, 2008. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Phelps broke Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in Beijing.

He scaled the peak of Olympic achievement at the 2008 Olympics by scooping up an unprecedented eight gold medals.

2008 Olympics
200m freestyle 1:42.96 (World Record)
100m butterfly 50.58 (Olympic Record)
200m butterfly 1:52.03 (World Record)
200m medley 1:54.23 (World Record)
400m medley 4:03.84 (World Record)
4× 100m freestyle 3:08.24 (World Record)
4× 200m freestyle 6:58.56 (World Record)
4× 100m medley 3:29.34 (World Record)

There was complete dominance. Phelps crushed all competitors in the 200m and 400m individual medleys, the 200m freestyle and the 800m free relay.

There were tense races too -- the 400m free relay and the 100m butterfly, which he won by a nine-hundredths of a second).

Michael Phelps

IMAGE: Phelps receives his gold medal at the Athens Games in 2004. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images for FINA

Phelps left the Athens Olympics with six gold and two bronze medals.

He set a world record in his first race, the 400m individual medley, and Olympic records with victories in the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley.

2004 Olympics
100m butterfly 51.25 (Olympic Record)
200m butterfly 1:54.04 (Olympic Record)
200m medley 1:57.14 (Olympic Record)
400m medley 4:08.26 (World Record)
4× 200m freestyle 7:07.33 (National Record)
4× 100m medley 3:30.68 (World Record) (Phelps swam only the heats)
200m freestyle 1:45.32 (National Record)
4×100 m freestyle 3:14.62

In the 2000 Olympics, as a 15 year old, Phelps travelled to Sydney, but returned empty-handed.

That would not happen again :))

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