Phelps keeps stacking up the medals
After losing to Ryan Lochte in their head-to-head battle in the 400 individual medley, Phelps roared back to edge his rival in the shorter 200 IM, giving the U.S.
a gold and silver finish in the event.
Phelps just missed breaking his Olympic record in the event by four-hundredths of a second, but had enough in the tank to maintain the lead throughout the race and hold Lochte off in the final meters.
Phelps took gold in 1:54.27, while Lochte came in at 1:54.90, after taking bronze in the 200-meter backstroke 31 minutes earlier.
The race looked very similar to the gold that Phelps won in Beijing in 2008, as he took command quickly and never faded.
Phelps and Lochte also both took podium spots in 2008 – gold and bronze respectively – in a race that saw Phelps set the world record in the event.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh took the silver in 2008 and bronze on Thursday.
Criticized for having a "rough" Games earlier in the week, Phelps has rebounded and begun to show the form that helped him dominate in 2008.
He now has four medals at these Games – another gold in the 4x200 freestyle relay and two silvers in the 4x100 free relay and 200 butterfly.
His career medal count also has been pushed to 20, with two races remaining including the drama-packed 100-meter butterfly, where he can exact some revenge on South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, who out-touched Phelps in the 200 fly.
That final also is expected to include Serbia's Milorad Cavic, who Phelps famously out-touched by a hundredth of a second for gold in Beijing.
Meanwhile, Lochte continues to stack his own medal count – with the silver accounting for his fifth medal in the Games.
That total includes golds in the 400 IM and 4x200 freestyle relay, a silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay and a bronze earlier in the night in the 200-meter backstroke.
Lochte’s career Olympic medal count now stands at an impressive eleven – six gold, three silver and three bronze.