LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Gold medallists (L-R) Brendan Hansen, Matthew Grevers, Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian of the United States pose following the medal ceremony for the Men's 4x100m Meldey Relay Final on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Led by Michael Phelps -- in his final swim ever -- the United States rallied for a win in the men's 4x100m medley relay Saturday night, giving Phelps his 18th career gold medal.
Michael Phelps went out a winner in the Olympics.
In what he says will be his last-ever Olympic swim, Phelps helped the United States rally to win a gold medal in the men's 4x100m medley relay Saturday night in London. The Americans finished in 3:29.35, beating Japan by almost two full seconds (1.91). Australia won the bronze medal in 3:31.58.
For Phelps, the win just added to his already staggering records: gold medal No. 18, and 22 career medals overall. Perhaps the most amazing stat to put Phelps' dominance into perspective: he now has twice as many gold medals as any other Olympian, ever.
Matt Grevers started for the U.S. in backstroke and gave the Americans a slim 0.43-second lead over Japan after the first 100 meters, turning it over to Brendan Hansen for the breaststroke. Hansen was passed by Kosuke Kitajima, meaning Phelps would have some work to do.
Phelps took to the water for the third leg, butterfly, with a 0.21-second gap to make up -- he wasted little time in making up that deficit, passing Takeshi Matsuda on the turn and giving the Americans a 0.26-lead heading int the final 100 meters.
The fourth and final leg, freestyle, was swam by Nathan Adrian, the 100m freestyle champion at London, and he absolutely blew away the field, swimming an astonishing 46.85 split. By the time he made the turn, the race was no longer a race, but rather just a question of by how much the U.S. would win (the answer was 1.91 seconds).
For the U.S., it's their eighth consecutive win in the event; they haven't lost the medley relay since 1980.
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