Michael Phelps Beats Ryan Lochte in 200-Meter Individual Medley

Silver medallist Ryan Lochte of the United States and gold medalist Michael Phelps of the United States pose on the podium during the medal ceremony the Men's 200m Individual Medley final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 2, 2012 in London, England. Credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Michael Phelps made history in London Thursday by winning the 200-individual medley in 1:54.32, marking the first time any male competitor has won a gold medal in an individual event at three consecutive Olympic Games.

Only two women have won individual swimming events in three consecutive Olympic Games: Australia's Dawn Fraser (1956, 1960 and 1964) and Hungary's Krisztina Egerszegi (1988, 1992 and 1996).

Phelps now has 20 Olympic medals, 16 of them being gold; he first competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The Maryland native is now the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Fellow American Ryan Lochte, 27, nabbed the silver medal after he finished the race in 1:54.90; he now has 11 Olympic medals. Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, 26, finished in third place, scoring his fifth medal ever.

Prior to Thursday's race, Phelps, 27, spoke to reporters about his friendly rivalry with Lochte. "You can guarantee that we're going to race each other, and we're going to race each other hard," he said. "It could be one of the races, like at trials, where it comes down to the touch."