What an upset! Michael Phelps was expected to dominate the competition to take home the gold in the 100m butterfly final at the Rio Olympics on Friday, August 12, but instead finished in a three-way tie for silver with Chad le Clos of South Africa and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, with Joseph Schooling of Singapore taking the gold.
Schooling, 21, built an early lead in the first lap and held on to it to win the race with a new Olympic record of 50.39 seconds.
Phelps, Cseh and le Clos touched in at 51.14 seconds.
Had Phelps won, it would’ve been his fourth consecutive gold medal in the event. He now has four gold medals and one silver at the Summer Games, bringing his overall Olympic medal count to 28.
During the medal ceremony, Phelps held hands with nemesis le Clos on the podium, while the South African held Cseh’s hand. The three Olympians raised their arms in unison and smiled happily before receiving their medals. Cseh told reporters during the press conference that it was le Clos’ idea for the three silver medalists to clasp hands.
Schooling’s win marks the first time that Singapore has won gold in any sport.
In Thursday’s 100m butterfly semifinals, Phelps came back from eighth place to earn a spot in Friday’s event.
Phelps, 31, has had an impressive run at the Rio Olympics this year. On Thursday, August 11, the athlete made history when he won his 22nd gold medal, beating out fellow Team USA swimmer Ryan Lochte, who finished fifth, in the 200m individual medley.
The four-time Olympian teared up as he stood on the podium to receive his medal, and later said in an interview that “when the announcer said [he had won], I had a really hard time pulling it together.”
“It’s obviously a very emotional event for me,” he continued. “It’s very special, being able to win 22 Olympic gold medals. It’s something you just dream of. I’ve said this before but I’m living a dream come true.”
The athlete is now officially the most decorated gold medalist of all time in individual events, beating a record set more than 2,000 years ago by Greek athlete Leonidas of Rhodes in 152 B.C., who won 12 individual gold medals in the ancient Olympics. (Phelps now has 13 individual gold medals.)
Phelps’ final event of the 2016 Rio Olympics — the 4x100m medley relay — will take place on Saturday, August 13.
Lochte, 32, told the Today show’s Matt Lauer on Friday that he’s positive Phelps will swim for the gold once again at the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“I guarantee he will be there. I think so — I really think so,” Lochte said before looking straight into the camera. “Michael, I’ll see you in Tokyo.”
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