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Phelps' tally stands now at 25!

Río de Janeiro. 10 Aug 2016. Pedro Adrega, Head of FINA Communications Department. Photo by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia. (IKKOSPORTS) - In the most awaited race of the fourth day in the Rio 2016 swimming compeition - attracting more journalists than usual in the media stands of the Aquatics Stadium - Michael Phelps (USA) recovered the 200m butterfly crown he had lost four years ago to Chad Le Clos (RSA). In a thrilling final, the US great was always in control, touching first at the 100m, 150m and finally winning in a time of 1:53.36. This victory corresponds to the 24th podium presence of the North American in the Olympic Games, and his 20th gold medal since the Athens rendezvous. It is also his third victory in the event, after the titles in 2004 and 2008.

World record holder (1:51.51) since 2009, Michael Phelps had a gliding arrival in London and had to content with the silver, behind Chad Le Clos. In Rio, the US star did not make any mistake, but was strongly challenged in the last 50m by Japan's Masato Sakai (swimming in lane 7) and by the fastest man in the heats and semis, Hungary's Tamas Kenderesi. In the end, Sakai earned silver in 1:53.40, while the 19-year-old Magyar had to settle for bronze in 1:53.62. Away from the podium, Chad Le Clos (2013 world champion) concluded in fourth, clocking 1:54.06. Finally, the 2015 world champion, Hungary's Laszlo Cseh was the seventh of the final in 1:56.24.

The Phelps's festival, and his 25th Olympic medal (including 21 gold), continued in the last event of the evening, the men's 4x200m free relay. Fourth swimmer of the US quartet, Michael Phelps concluded in the best way his team's effort, for a winning time of 7:00.66. The North Americans perfectly controlled the race, keeping their most direct challengers - Great Britain (silver, 7:03.13) and Japan (bronze, 7:03.50) - at a respectable distance.

After kissing his baby son after the medal ceremony of the 200m fly, Phelps appeared totally exhausted in the end of the relay effort, but had still some energy to celebrate with his teammates in the pool deck.

Following the World Record in the women's 400m free on Day 1, Katie Ledecky (USA) had this time more difficulties in getting the gold in the 200m. Swimming in lane 5, the US prodigy (also 2015 world champion) touched home in 1:53.73, but was closely followed by Sarah Sjostrom (SWE), silver medallist in 1:54.08 (and winner of the 100m fly here in Rio). The bronze went to Emma McKeon, from Australia, in 1:54.92. The world record holder in the distance, Italy's Federica Pellegrini, had to content with the fourth place, in 1:55.18 (her global mark stands at 1:52.98, since July 2009). The Italian champion has been in the podium at the last six consecutive World Championships, and was Olympic gold medallist in this event in Beijing 2008.

Skipping the 200m butterfly heats, Hungary's Katinka Hosszu wanted to preserve some energy for the evening's 200m IM - the tactics paid off, with one slight difficulty: the win was not accompanied by a new World Record. Swimming under WR pace at the 50m (-0.07) and 100m (-0.05), the Magyar great could not keep the rhythm in the second half of the race, touching home for gold in 2:06.58, a new Olympic record (that she has established on the previous day, in 2:07.45). In the last 25m, Siobhan-Marie O'Connor (GBR) tried a final attack on Katinka, but in the end had to content with silver in 2:06.68. The bronze went to Maya Dirado (USA) in 2:08.79. With this performance, Katinka Hosszu equals the best performance ever achieved by a female Hungarian swimmer in a single edition of the Games - her compatriot Krisztina Egerszegi got three Olympic titles in Barcelona 1992.

In semi-final action, the highlight of the session went to the Olympic Record set by Ippei Watanabe in the men's 200m breaststroke - the Japanese ace clocked 2:07.22, bettering the time set by Daniel Gyurta (HUN), the 2012 Olympic champion in 2:07.28, and not qualified in the heats of the morning!

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