By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – U.S. swimming phenomenon, Michael Phelps, set another Olympic record on Thursday, by winning the 200-meter medley and his fourth gold medal in the Rio Olympics. The U.S. also claimed the top prize for the women’s swimming competition with Simone Manuel, the first African American woman to win a gold medal for individual swimming.

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Michael Phelps wins his fourth gold medal at Rio Olympics,
Michael Phelps wins his fourth gold medal at Rio Olympics, photo by Fernando Frazao/AgBr.

“My first gold medal at my first Olympics is kind of a surprise to me,” a smiling Manuel said to reporters. Manuel was followed by Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, who won the silver and Sweden’s Sarah Sjorstrom.

In the men’s race, Phelps was followed by Japan’s Kosuke Hagino, who won the silver and China’s Shun Wang who claimed the bronze.

According to Olympic officials by winning his fourth gold medal Phelps “becomes the first swimmer to win the same event at four consecutive Games, an achievement that places him in the same Olympic pantheon as fellow Americans Al Oerter in the discus and Carl Lewis in the long jump”.

Brazilian swimming hopeful, Thiago Pereira, started the medley well but during the last half of the race the swimmer lost speed and ended up in seventh place with a time of 1:58:02.

Phelps has won so far in his career 26 Olympic medals, with 22 being Gold, in five Olympic Games. And the tally may increase on Friday. After winning the medley, Phelps qualified for the finals of the 100-meter butterfly race.

The U.S. athlete, considered the most decorated Olympian of all times is expected to retire after the Rio Olympics, at the age of 31.

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