Michael Phelps (USA) is the most successful Olympic athlete ever. With 4 golds here at the Water Cube, after a world record of 1:52.03 in the 200m butterfly, Superfish now has a career 10 gold medals to his name. One more than Paavo Nurmi (FIN), Larysa Latynina (URS), Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis (USA). Time to rocket off into orbit. The 4x200m freestyle later today is set to bring an 11th gold medal, which would leave Phelps two targets shy of equalling Spitz's record of seven titles at one Games.
Phelps's rivals were nearer than he is used too: silver went to Laszlo Cseh (HUN) in 1:52.70 and bronze to Takeshi Matsuda (JPN) in 1:52.97.
Before Beijing, only Phelps had cracked 1:54. Now three are below 1:53 and four others in the final swam inside 1:55. Phelps might have gone inside 1:52 had he not proved that things can go wrong even for the greatest of greats: his goggles filled up with water.
"I couldn't see anything for the last 100, my goggles pretty much filled up with water, it just kept getting worse and worse through the race and I was having trouble seeing the walls to be honest. But it's fine, I wanted to break the record. I wanted to go 1:51 or better but for the circumstances, I guess it's not too bad."