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RIO 2016

Phelps receives tough Schooling in 100m butterfly

Gold medallist Joseph Schooling (right) poses with joint silver medallists Michael Phelps and Chad Le Clos.
Gold medallist Joseph Schooling (right) poses with joint silver medallists Michael Phelps and Chad Le Clos. Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler

Joseph Schooling won the men's 100 metres butterfly final on Friday to secure Singapore's first Olympic gold medal and deny Michael Phelps a 23rd gold in the last individual race of the American's extraordinary career.

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The 21-year-old Asian champion denied Olympic icon Phelps a fourth straight victory in the event, leading from start to finish to win in an Olympic record of 50.39sec.

Phelps, sixth at the turn, couldn't pull off one of his trademark comebacks, but he had plenty of company on the second step of the podium as his longtime rival Laszlo Cseh of Hungary and South African Chad le Clos both matched his time of 51.14sec in an astonishing three-way tie for silver.

The only other three-way tie for Games silver came back in 1968, in the women's speedskating 500m.

Singapore exploded in celebration Saturday after the win - the small republic's first ever Olympics gold.

Schooling will receive 665 000 euros for his gold medal winning effort as part of a programme aimed at encouraging studious Singaporeans to excel in sport.

Schooling said of his win: "I'm just ecstatic. I don't think it has set in yet. It's just crazy.
"I hope that Michael can stay around long enough for me to race him again. I'd love that."

The 31-year-old, who has won 22 Olympic gold medals, quit after London 2012 only to reverse that decision in 2014.

"I'm not going four more years and I'm standing by that," he insisted after finishing in a three-way tie for silver in the 100m butterfly final.

"I've been able to do everything I've ever put my mind to in the sport. I'm happy with how things finished."

He added: "No more. This is it. I said it a bunch before. But I'm not doing it. I swore in London I wasn't coming back and this is final. Were the papers here, I'd sign them tomorrow."

However, team-mate Ryan Lochte thinks Phelps will be in Tokyo in 2020. "I guarantee he will be there,'' Lochte said. "I think so. I really think so. So Michael, I'll see you in Tokyo."

Phelps can add to his Olympic tally in the 4x100m medley relay on Sunday.

- with AFP

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