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  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Gold medallist Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates on the podium in 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 Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Gold medallist Michael Phelps of the United States waves the United States national flag 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 Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Michael Phelps of the United States waves to the crowd after he received a special award presented by FINA for his career achievements on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Michael Phelps of the United States celebrates with a special award presented by FINA for his career achievements on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Michael Phelps of the United States points to the crowd from the podium after he was presented with a special award by FINA for his career achievements on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 8 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Matthew Grevers, Brendan Hansen, and Michael Phelps of the United States cheer on team mate Nathan Adrian as he finishes the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps reacts after t

    US swimmer Michael Phelps reacts after the US swimming team won gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps (c) reacts nex

    US swimmer Michael Phelps (c) reacts next to teammates Matthews Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian after the US swimming team won gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/GettyImages)

  • United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning gold in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • United States' Michael Phelps take the start in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, left, leads South Africa's Chad le Clos during the men's 100-meter butterfly final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, right, and South Africa's Chad le Clos react to their scores in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Phelps won a gold medal in the event, le Clos won a silver medal. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • United States' Michael Phelps reacts to his gold medal win in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • ALTERNATE CROP OF OSWM142- United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • United States' Michael Phelps waves after his gold medal win in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • United States' Ryan Lochte, left, and teammate Michael Phelps leave the podium after the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final medal presentation at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in a men's 100-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Winner United States' Michael Phelps, right, compatriot Ryan Lochte, second, and third placed Hungary's Laszlo Cseh, top left, react after competing in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, right, looks to silver medalist Ryan Lochte of the United States after winning gold in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Debbie Phelps, center, the mother of United States' Michael Phelps celebrates after he won gold in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps poses with his gold medal for the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' gold medal winner Michael Phelps shales hands with teammate and silver medalist Ryan Lochte after the medal ceremony for the men's 200-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Steffen Diebler, Michael Phelps

    Germany's Steffen Diebler, left, and Michael Phelps of the United States compete in the men's 100m butterfly semi-final at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, at the Aquatics Centre in London. (AP Photo/Adam Pretty, Pool)

  • Gold medalist US' Michael Phelps kisses

    Gold medalist US' Michael Phelps kisses his gold medal after the podium ceremony of the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Steffen Diebler, Michael Phelps

    Germany's Steffen Diebler, left, and Michael Phelps of the United States compete in the men's 100m butterfly semi-final at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, at the Aquatics Centre in London. (AP Photo/Adam Pretty, Pool)

  • (FromR) US' Conor Dwyer, Michael Phelps

    (FromR) US' Conor Dwyer, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte celebrate after the podium ceremony of the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • (L-R) US swimmers Ryan Lochte, Conor Dw

    (L-R) US swimmers Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Ricky Berens and Michael Phelps stand during the playing of the US national anthem as they pose on the podium with their gold medals after winning the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final next to bronze medalists China's Hao Yun, Li Yunqi, Jiang Haiqi and Sun Yang during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 31, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps (front) compet

    US swimmer Michael Phelps (front) competes in the men's 400m individual medley final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. He finished fourth. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in a men's 200-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Monday, July 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

  • United States' Michael Phelps mother Debbie, center, applauds following a men's 200-meter butterfly swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Monday, July 30, 2012. At center in back is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps, front, and South Africa's Chad le Clos compete in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Le Clos won gold, Phelps silver. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps reacts after winning silver in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • United States' Michael Phelps poses with his silver medal for the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • From front to back, Japan's Takeshi Matsuda, South Africa's Chad le Clos, and United States' Michael Phelps compete in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States' Michael Phelps competes in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps walks away from the pool after placing second in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. Phelps placed second to South Africa's Chad le Clos, earning him the silver medal.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps leaves the poo

    US swimmer Michael Phelps leaves the pool after he competed in the men's 400m individual medley final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. He finished fourth. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States climbs out of the pool after he finished fourth in the Final of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States reacts after he finished fourth in the Final of the Men's 400m Individual Medleyon Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in th

    US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the men's 400m individual medley final swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. He finished fourth. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)

  • US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in th

    US swimmer Michael Phelps competes in the men's 400m individual medley heats swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 28, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Debbie Phelps watches her son, United States' Michael Phelps compete in the men's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • United States' Michael Phelps reacts after placing fourth in the men's 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • United States swimmer Michael Phelps dives off of the starting block during the men's 400-meter individual medley event during the 2012 Summer Olympics at the Aquatics Centre in London on Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Al Bello, Pool)

  • Michael Phelps

    USA's Michael Phelps races the men's 400 meter medley heat at the Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Village at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

  • USA's Michael Phelps reacts after competing in a heat of the men's 400-meter individual medley at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States dives off of the starting block as he competes in heat four of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Olympics Day 1 - Swimming

    LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Michael Phelps of the United States looks on as he gets set to compete in heat four of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

El estadounidense Michael Phelps entró en la historia de los Juegos Olímpicos como el deportista que más medallas cosechó al alzarse con la de plata en los 200 metros de estilos combinados y la de oro del relevo de 4x200 libre.

Phelps tiene ahora 19 medallas y dejó atrás a la gimnasta soviética Larisa Latynina, que encabezaba esa tabla con 18. El estadounidense suma 15 de oro, mientras que Latynina obtuvo solo nueve de ese metal.

Phelps tiene también dos de plata y dos de bronce.

La del relevo fue la tercera medalla de Phelps en estos juegos y la primera de oro. Previamente había conquistado otra de plata en un relevo.

El estadounidense todavía tiene tres pruebas más por delante para seguir agrandando su leyenda, que incluye una portentosa cosecha de ocho preseas doradas en una sola olimpiada, la del 2008 en Beijing. También ganó seis de oro en Atenas en el 2004.

Phelps dejó escapar el oro en los 200 combinados, pues punteó toda la prueba y dejó que el sudafricano Chad Le Clos lo superase en la brazada final.

Le Clos cronometró 1:52.96 minutos y le ganó por cinco centésimas a Phelps, quien hizo un tiempo de 1:53.01. El bronce fue para el japonés Takeshi Matsuda en 1:53.21.

Phelps hizo un gesto de disgusto al ver en la pizarra que había quedado segundo por un error suyo, al dejar que le Clos lo desplazase en la misma meta.

El relevo, en cambio, no dio sustos al estadounidense. Phelps corrió el último relevo y sus compañeros --Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer y Ricky Berens-- le entregaron una cómoda ventaja, que el fenomenal atleta supo conservar.

Estados Unidos cronometró 6:59.70 y le sacó más de dos segundos a Francia, que se quedó con la plata en 7:02.77. El bronce fue para China con 7:06.30.

Opina Pau Gasol