London - Michael Phelps became the first male swimmer to win the same event at three successive Olympics when he clinched the men's 200m individual medley gold medal at the London Games on Thursday.
Phelps, who won the event at the Athens and Beijing Games, relegated compatriot and world champion Ryan Lochte to silver while Hungary's Laszlo Cseh took bronze.
The victory gave Phelps his 16th Olympic gold medal and 20th overall in his career.
Only two swimmers had ever won the same individual event at three Olympics, Australia's Dawn Fraser, in 100 freestyle in 1956, 1960 and 1964, and Hungary's Krisztina Egerszegi in 200 backstroke in 1988, 1992 and 1996.
It is a feat that had eluded generations of the best male swimmers until Phelps, who had the chance of doing it in four different events in London.
He came fourth in the 400 individual medley and looked to set to achieve the feat in his favoured 200 butterfly but was pipped by South Africa's Chad le Clos on the final stroke.
Phelps still has the 100 butterfly to come on his programme, with the American the second fastest qualifier into the semi-finals, which will take place later on Thursday.