RIO DE JANEIRO – Michael Phelps regained his Olympic 200-meter butterfly title Tuesday night by beating the man who took it away from him four years earlier.
In a stirring stretch duel, Phelps dusted South African Chad le Clos to take the gold medal in an event he’d won in 2004 and ’08 before being upset in ’12. Le Clos caught Phelps at the very end in London, beating him to the wall by .05 seconds. This time around, Phelps got the victory in 1:53.36, well off his own world record of 1:51.51 set in 2009.
Phelps barely held off Japan’s Masato Sakai, who won silver in 1:53.40. Hungary’s Tamas Kenderesi took the bronze at 1:53.62 while le Clos finished fourth in 1:54.06.