MICHAEL PHELPS extended his reign in the 200-meters individual medley to three Olympic Games.
Winner of the event in the 2004 Athens Games and 2008 Beijing Olympiad, the American tanker, now 27, became the first male swimmer to win the same event in three straight Olympics by ruling the event at the Aquatics Centre in London.
Phelps’ victory makes it a record 20 medals overall in the Olympics. He earlier became the most decorated Olympian when he scored his 19th medal as part of the gold medal winning 4x200 freestyle relay team.
In terms of gold medal count, Phelps total of 16 (10 individual and six relay events) is much more than the all-time gold haul of any Southeast Asian country.
Phelps led right from the start and finished in one minute and 54.27 seconds, while world champion Ryan Lochte finished 0.63 behind and settled for silver. Hungary's Laszlo Cseh took bronze in 1:56.22.
It was still an impressive result for Lochte, who placed third in the 200-m backstroke final just a half hour before the 200-m IM.
Lochte also earlier won the 400-m IM.