On an action-packed and record-breaking night 2 in the pool, Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic gold medal to add to his legacy as the most decorated Olympian of all time.
The 31-year-old, who quit the sport after the London Games in 2012, decided to make one last comeback, this time as a dad. With son Boomer in the crowd watching, Phelps swum the second of four legs as the USA beat France and Australia to win gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay.
Along with teammates Caleb Dressel, Ryan Held and anchor Nathan Adrian, who swum the fastest split time of the four, Phelps and his compatriots reversed their results from London, when they were beaten by a blistering French team.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) August 8, 2016
Katie Ledecky won the women’s 400m freestyle with a time of 3:56.46 – nearly five seconds ahead of silver medallist, Britain’s Jazz Carlin, with fellow American Leah Smith claiming bronze. The time shattered Ledecky’s own world record – from the 2014 PanPacs – by almost two seconds.
Ledecky, at 19, could retire now and still be a legend. The American long-distance sensation is without argument the best female swimmer in the world right now.
After dominating the world championships in Kazan last year, she has now set 12 world records and counting. The Washington DC-born flyer still has the 800m and 200m to come later in the week.
“I know what my best times are and I have my goals.” –@katieledecky
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) August 8, 2016
Another swimmer to break their own world record was Britain’s Adam Peaty in the 100m breaststroke. Peaty was claiming Great Britain’s first gold medal of these Games and GB’s first Olympic medal in the pool since Seoul 1988.
“It’s so surreal to get Team GB’s first gold. I came out tonight and took the first 50 easy and came back with everything I have got. I did it for my country and that means so much for me”, a jublilant Peaty said.
The 21-year-old was the overwhelming favourite, having already broken his own world record in yesterday’s heats. Peaty can now add an Olympic gold to his World and European titles.
— Telegraph Sport (@TelegraphSport) August 8, 2016
Another big favourite was Sarah Sjostrom in the 100m butterfly and she duly delivered, taking gold in a world record time of 55.48 seconds ahead of 16-year-old Canadian Penny Oleksiak and US defending Olympic champion Dana Volmer.
Sjostrom was claiming Sweden’s first-ever Olympic gold by a female swimmer and had already won four gold medals at world championships but never at an Olympics, until now.
— Rio 2016 (@Rio2016_en) August 8, 2016