Michael Phelps Wins 100m Butterfly For 17th Career Gold Medal

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates winning the Men’s 100m Butterfly Final on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 3, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Michael Phelps ended his individual career on a high note Friday in London, winning the 100m butterfly. It's his 17th Olympic gold medal, and his 21st medal overall.

In his final individual event ever at the Olympics, the all-time medal champion went out in fitting fashion. Michael Phelps won the men's 100m butterfly, his third gold in London, 17th gold overall and 21st total medal.

It's also the third consecutive win in the event for Phelps, a feat that was unprecedented ... before Phelps accomplished it in the 200m IM on Thursday. Phelps touched the wall in 51.21, just 0.23 seconds ahead of South Africa's Chad le Clos and Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin, who finished tied for second (both will take home a silver medal).

Milorad Cavic, whom Phelps famously out-touched at the wall by just 0.01 seconds in this same event in Beijing, was fourth, this time 0.60 seconds behind the greatest Olympian ever.

Phelps started slow, and found himself in seventh place at the halfway mark, swimming the first 50 meters in 24.35, but then turned it on coming back, passing the field for the win. For Phelps, the race marks his final individual event in his Olympic career -- he publicly stated London will be his final Games (although his mother would like to see him swim in Rio in 2016). He will be part of Team USA in the 4x100m IM relay finals on Saturday, where it's expected he'll add career medal No. 22.

For more on the Olympics, check out SB Nation's London 2012 Olympics Hub.

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