Beijing, Aug 13 : Michael Phelps, the US swimming sensation, became the fourth man to win a record nine Olympic gold medals when he cruised to victory in the men's 200m freestyle final here last evening.
Phelps claimed his third gold at the Beijing Games with the sort of ease that suggests his quest for an unprecedented eight gold medals remains right on track, reported the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
He finished more than a body length ahead of South Korea's Park Taehwan, smashing his own world record by .90 seconds to finish in 1 minute, 42.96 seconds.
It was Phelps' ninth Olympic gold overall, allowing him to join an elite club with US swimming great Mark Spitz, American track and field star Carl Lewis, former Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina and Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi for the most gold medals all-time at the Games.
On achieving the feat, the 23-year-old American said: "To be tied for the most Olympic gold for a long time with those names in Olympic history, it is a pretty amazing accomplishment. It is definitely an honour."
His fellow countryman Aaron Peirsol also broke the world record on his way to triumph in the men's 100m backstroke, and Natalie Coughlin defended the gold she won four years ago in Athens in the women's 100-meter backstroke.
Story first published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 10:50 [IST]
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