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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (7th UPDATE) – In a stunning Olympic upset, Joseph Schooling of Singapore won the gold medal of the men’s 100m butterfly division in the swimming event on Friday, August 12 (Saturday, August 13 in Manila), beating favorite Michael Phelps.
The 21-year-old Schooling finished with an Olympic Record time of 50.39, defeating USA swimmer Phelps who was seeking his fourth gold medal in Rio and 23rd overall and winning Singapore’s first-ever gold medal at the Olympic Games.
Phelps, 31, finished in a rare triple tie for second place with Chad le Clos of South Africa and Laszlo Cseh from Hungry. All 3 had identical finishing times of 51.14. No bronze medal was given.
The only other 3-way tie for Games silver came back in 1968, in the women’s speedskating 500m.
Victory in Friday’s fly would have given Phelps a 14th individual Olympic title, but Schooling proved too strong. (LOOK: Joseph Schooling met Michael Phelps 8 years before beating him)
Schooling, who took bronze at last year’s world championships, punched the water and roared with delight as Phelps swam over to pat him on the back before Le Clos ruffled the youngster’s hair.
“He said ‘good job, that was a great race’,” Schooling said. “I told him to go 4 more years and he said ‘No way.’
“Hopefully he changes his mind. That was fun. I like racing Michael.”
The 6-foot Schooling came into the Olympics having won 9 gold medals during swimming competitions at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games. A standout form the University of Texas, he entered the finals of the 100m butterfly after posting a time of 50.83 seconds during the semis.
Schooling also became the first Southeast Asian male to win a gold medal in swimming.
Schooling was absorbing the enormity of his first.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’m full of emotions now,” he said. “I don’t know what to believe, whether I actually did it or I’m still preparing my race.”
Phelps, competing in his fifth and final Games, will be odds-on to win a fifth gold medal in Sunday’s (August 14) 4x100m medley relay – an event the Americans have never lost at the Olympics – to finish with a total of 23 golds.
“It’s faster than I went 4 years ago to win, but Joe’s tough,” Phelps said. “Obviously he’s had a great year last year and had a really great last two years, so hats off to him.”
“It’s wild,” Phelps said about the race. “Chad and I have had some races over the last 4 years and Laszlo and I – I can’t even remember when I first raced him… so it’s kind of special and a decent way to finish my last individual race.”
The tie with Phelps was the closest Cseh has come to the US star in Olympic competition. In 3 prior Games the Hungarian had claimed 5 medals, all silver or bronze in races won by Phelps.
Phelps’s rivalry with Le Clos blossomed more recently, at the 2012 London Games where the South African beat Phelps in the 200m butterfly only to fall to him in the 100m fly.
World record for Ledecky
Phelps may have been beaten, but the United States raked in plenty of gold on the penultimate night of action at the Olympic Aquatics Center. Katie Ledecky obliterated the field and her own world record in winning the 800m freestyle in 8min 04.79sec.
The 19-year-old is the first Olympian since Debbie Meyer in 1968 to win the 200m, 400m and 800m free titles in one Games.
“The goal was 8:05 or better so I hit all my goals right on the nose this week,” said Ledecky, who improved the previous record of 8:06.68 she set in January.
She finished almost half a length in front of her closest rivals, silver medalist Jazz Carlin of Britain (8:16.17) and bronze medallist Boglarka Kapas of Hungary (8:16.37).
American Anthony Ervin won gold in the men’s 50m free – 16 years after tying for gold in the same event in Sydney with teammate Gary Hall jr.
Defending champion Florent Manaudou of France was quick off the blocks but Ervin and teammate Nathan Adrian were close behind and Ervin powered into the wall to beat the Frenchman with a time of 21.40 to 21.41. Adrian was third in 21.49.
American Maya DiRado denied Hungarian Katinka Hosszu a record-equalling fourth individual gold in a 200m backstroke thriller.
Hosszu, who set a world record in winning 400m medley gold then added the 100m backstroke and 200m medley titles, led through the first 150 meters, with DiRado clinging to her shoulder.
The American got her at the finish, with a time of 2:05.99.
Hosszu, trying to join Kristin Otto as the only women to win four individual swimming golds in a single games, was timed in 2:06.05. – With reports from Naveen Ganglani and Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com