By John Lohn
BEIJING, China, August 13. ADD another title to Michael Phelps' already glowing portfolio. He's now the Olympic-record holder for most gold medals in history. Hey, it's just another day at the office for a man who is the most dominant athlete in the world, and that includes bettering that golfer currently recovering from knee surgery.
Cranking out his fourth world record of the competition, and the 25th individual world mark of his career, Phelps covered the 200 butterfly in 1:52.03, just below his global standard of 1:52.09, set at last year's World Championships in Melbourne. The gold complemented earlier triumphs in the 400 individual medley, 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay.
Racing the event that made him a 15-year-old Olympian in Sydney in 2000, Phelps was second at the 50-meter mark, then took the lead and roared to his latest title. Phelps was 25.36 at the 50, 53.53 at the 100 and 1:22.75 at the 150. The 200 fly was the first of two events in the session for Phelps, along with the 800 freestyle relay.
It was Phelps' 10th gold medal of his Olympic career, setting the record in that category. It was also Phelps' 12th overall medal.
"I couldn't see anything for the last 100. My goggles pretty much filled up with water," Phelps said. "It just kept getting worse and worse through the race and I was having trouble seeing the walls to be honest. But it's fine. I wanted to break the record. I wanted to go 1:51 or better, but for the circumstances, I guess it's not too bad."
For the second time this week, Hungary's Laszlo Cseh was the silver medalist to Phelps. Adding to his hardware from the 400 IM, Cseh popped a European record of 1:52.70 to hold off Japan's Takeshi Matsuda (1:52.97). En route to their medal performances, Cseh and Matsuda became the second and third members of the sub-1:53 club.
New Zealand's Moss Burmester and China's Wu Peng shared fourth place in 1:54.35, impressive times when compared to any but those managed by the medal winners. Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski was sixth in 1:54.60 and Brazil's Kaio Almeida (1:54.71) and Russian Nikolay Skvortsov (1:55.14) rounded out the field.