MICHAEL PHELPS became the winningest Olympian when he won his 19th medal in the quadrennial games.
The American suffered a huge shocker when he settled for silver in the 200-meter butterfly, which he has dominated for over 10 years, but he later joined the US 4x200-meter freestyle relay team to win gold at the Aquatic Center in London on Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time).
Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina won the last of her 18 Olympic medals at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
The relay victory netted the first gold medal of the Games for Phelps, but the American all-time record-holder for most medals in the Olympics is still in search for a first individual triumph in London. He won six gold and two bronze medals in the 2004 Athens Games and a record eight gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Games.
The 27-year-old Phelps lost in the 400-m individual medley on Day One and his team placed second in the 4x100 free relay on Sunday. This time he suffered a shock loss in the 200 fly, an event he had won in the last two Olympics.
It was South Africa’s Chad le Clos who took the top spot on the podium, finishing in one minute and 52.96 seconds, while Phelps clocked 1:53.01. Takeshi Matsuda bagged bronze in 1:53.21
That silver was Phelps’ 18th and just a little over an hour later the American hiked that medal haul to 19 as the US team dominated the 4x200.
Ryan Lochte, winner of the 400IM, started the race for the Americans ad created a huge gap, with Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens the middle swimmers and Phelps the anchor.
The squad clocked 6:59.70, well off the world (6:58.55) and Olympic (6:58.56) records but way ahead of the runner-up France, which finished in 7:02.77 and third placer China, which timed 7:06.30.
Sixteen-year-old Chinese tanker Ye Shiwen won the women’s 200-m individual medley in a new Olympic record of 2:07.57.
Alicia Coutts of Australia won silver in 2:08.15 and Caitlin Leverenz of the US bagged bronze in 2:08.95.
Allison Schmitt of the US also set a new Olympic record in winning the women's 200-m freestyle gold, clocking 1:53.61 to exact revenge against Frenchwoman Camille Muffat, who this time settled for silver in 1:55.58 after edging the American in the 400-m final. Australia's Bronte Barratt was third in 1:55.81.