Much to the stadium’s delight, Thiago Pereira of Brazil led the field on butterfly, riding his adrenaline in front of a home crowd. But he couldn’t hold off the American legends Phelps and Lochte, who moved up on the backstroke leg. The three swimmers came into the halfway point with nearly identical splits, but Phelps began surging ahead on breaststroke and extended his lead by a body length on the freestyle, touching for yet another gold medal in 1:54.66. In a surprise turn of events both Kosuke Hagino of Japan and Wang Shun of China passed Lochte to take the next two podium spots in 1:56.61 and 1:57.05.
See the results, along with the complete metrics of this racehere.
Takeaways for your training
Phelps has solidified his status as the greatest Olympian of all time, becoming the first swimmer ever to win four consecutive gold medals in the same event at the Olympic Games. While he didn’t lead at the start, he stayed within striking distance through the first half of the race and made his big push during the breaststroke. He launched into powerful underwater dolphin kicks off the final wall to widen the gap and claim the gold. Pereira and Lochte, who were both in the mix through the first 100, faded on the back half and fell short of the podium. There are no guarantees in IM, because each stroke can completely change the dynamic of the race.
Check out our analysis of another race from the 2016 Rio Olympics: Men's 200 Fly