Michael Phelps outswam Ryan Lochte at the London Aquatics Centre in the 200-meter individual medley for the gold in what was very probably the last time the two Americans will face each other in an individual event.
Phelps was in control throughout each of the four legs of the race and his victory was never in doubt. Phelps' winning time was 1:54.27-just four-hundredths of a second off his then world record time for the gold at the Beijing Olympics.
Lochte, the current world record holder in the event at 1:54.00, touched the wall in London at 1:54.90 for the silver.
The incomparable Phelps now has 20 Olympic medals to his credit, with 10 of them being gold in individual events. Phelps' title today also marked the first time a man has won the same Olympic swimming event three consecutive times.
Phelps had failed in his attempts to do so earlier in the week in the 400-meter individual medley and the 200-meter butterfly. He will have another chance for a three-peat tomorrow in the 100-meter butterfly.
Rebecca Soni, meanwhile, validated her status as the greatest women's breaststroke swimmer in Olympic history by winning the 200-meter breaststroke in world-record time for the second straight day.
Soni swam a blistering pace throughout the race, finishing in 2:19.59, and became the first woman to break the 2:20 barrier in the event.
Soni can now claim the top spot for women's breaststroke swimmers in Olympic history. She has won back-to-back golds in the 200-meter breaststroke and two straight silver medals in the 100-meter breaststroke.
Australia's Leisel Jones, who failed to medal in London, was generally regarded as the best prior to these Games, but her tally of one gold, two silvers, and a bronze is not as good as Soni's, and was amassed at three Olympics.
Soni commented after her win: "I didn't try to focus on medals or records or anything. I just wanted to swim the race the way I knew I could. It's my goal since I was a little kid to go under 2:20."
Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and looks forward to more drama and excitement from the final days of the swimming competition at the London Games.
- Sports & Recreation
- Swimming & Diving
- Michael Phelps
- London Aquatics Centre
- Rebecca Soni