Swimming legend Michael Phelps, the most prolific Olympic medallist, has confirmed he would retire after the London Olympics.
“No more competitive swimming, no more club meets. I will definitely retire after London Olympics,” Phelps was quoted as saying by Xinhua on Thursday.
Phelps retained a third straight Olympic gold in the 200m individual medley on Thursday, becoming the first male swimmer to win the same event at three successive Games. The effort last night increased his medal count to 20.
“It is a relief to win an individual gold,” the 29-year-old said after the race, adding he was so proud to be the first-ever to defend a third straight Olympic title.
“It’s special for me, indeed,” he said.
After failing to defend his 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley at London Olympics, Phelps had an epic triumph over compatriot Ryan Lochte in the 200m medley final.
Phelps led all the way to power home in 1:54.27, half-body-length clear over Lochte to prove he is still the man to beat. Lochte bagged a silver to add to his five medals in London.
Describing Lochte as his greatest racer over the years, Phelps said they pushed each other over the years and Lochte had brought the best out of him.
Also on Thursday, Phelps breezed into the men’s 100m butterfly as the fastest qualifier.