Phelps swims for Olympic medals record
Swimming superstar competes in 2 events Tuesday
Michael Phelps can now call himself the most successful Olympian of all time.
Phelps earned two medals Tuesday, taking silver in the 200-meter butterfly and gold in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay, to capture his 18th and 19th career Olympic medals. He surpassed former Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina for the crown of the most decorated Olympian.
Phelps' first race of the day was the 200m fly, which is arguably his best event. He is the world-record holder in the event and won gold in it at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
In a close finish, Phelps made a mistake by reaching for the wall too soon, allowing South Africa's Chad le Clos, who finished in 1:52.96, to beat him out by five one-hundredths of a second for gold. Japan's Takeshi Matsuda took bronze close behind them, finishing with a time of 1:53.21.
The silver marks Phelps' first individual medal of the 2012 Olympics. He finished fourth in the 400-meter individual medley on Day 1 and earned a silver in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay on Day 2.
About an hour after the 200m fly, Phelps was back in the pool in the 4x200m free relay, an event the U.S. has won the past two Olympics.
Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Phelps easily outdistanced the field to take home the gold with a time of 6:59.70, beating out the silver-winning French team and the bronze-winners China.
The U.S. entered the relay final with the top qualifying time after Charlie Houchin, Matthew McLean, Davis Tarwater and Dwyer crushed the competition by more than 2 seconds in the morning heats.
Besides being the new record-holder for most Olympic medals, Phelps also holds the all-time record for most gold Olympic medals (15), as well as the record for most gold medals in individual events (nine).
Phelps is still expected to compete in three more events in London: the 200m IM, 100m fly and 4x100m medley relay.