Michael Phelps powered to his fourth gold medal at the Olympic Games in the men's 200m individual medley Thursday.
|Athens champion album: US Phelps, men's 200m individual medley|
The American teenager, who had vowed to win a record-equalling seven gold medals, clocked 1:57.14 for the title, bettering the Olympic record of 1:58.52 set by himself in the semifinals on Wednesday.
The night witnessed American 100m backstroke champion Aaron Peirsol disqualified after touching home first in the 200m backstroke for a freestyle kick at the 150m mark, but he was reinstated as winner after a protest.
In the day's other two finals, world record holder Amanda Beard of the United States won the women's 200m breaststroke while Australia's Jodie Henry denied a US cleansweep by taking the women's 100 meters freestyle.
Phelps, 19, also winner of the 200m butterfly, 400m individual medley and 4x200m freestyle relay, still has one individual event remaining, the 100-meter butterfly on Friday.
He also won two bronzes in the 200m freestyle and 4X100m freestyle relay.
Phelps, who was unsuccessful in his bid to break compatriot Mark Spitz's record of seven golds in the 1972 Munich Games, still could end up with eight medals.
Another American Ryan Lochte took the silver behind Phelps in 1:58.78 while Trinidad & Tobago's George Bovell won the bronze in 1:58.80.
Peirsol touched first to win by more than two seconds in a new Olympic record of 1:54.95.
Austria's Markus Rogan and Romanian Razvan Florea finished second and third respectively.
Perisol climbed out of the pool with a smile on his face when the disqualification flashed up on the scoreboard.
He was then reinstated for "lack of information".
"The disqualification of Aaron Peirsol was not accepted due to the detail of the reason supplied by the official being inadequate and not in the working language of FINA," said a statement.
Peirsol said, "I feel bad for the guys who went out through that emotional rollercoaster.
"It was an unfortunate mistake by somebody but it happens. It was a weird way to win."
Henry, who set a new world record of 52.52 seconds in Wednesday's semifinals, clocked 53.84 for the 100m freestyle gold.
This was the 21-year-old's second gold medal at the Olympic Games following her first win in the 4X100m freestyle relay with the Australian team.
Inge De Bruijn, 31, took the silver in 54.16 and American Natalie Coughlin won the bronze in 54.40.
"I just didn't feel as good as I did last night," Henry said. "But I came away with a win, so I'm pretty happy."
Beard, who set an world record of two minutes 22.44 seconds in the US trials on July 12, clocked 2:23.37 for the women's 200m breaststroke gold, her first in the Athens Olymics.
Australia's Leisel Jones, third placer in the 100m breaststroke event, took the silver in 2:23.60 and Germany's Anne Poleska won the bronze in 2:25.82.
Beard, the reigning world champion, was the bronze medalist in the Sydney Olympics four years ago.
Results of men's 200m individual medley final
1. Michael Phelps, United States, 1:57.14
2. Ryan Lochte, United States, 1:58.78
3. George Bovell, Trinidad and Tobago, 1:58.80
4. Laszlo Cseh, Hungary, 1:58.84
5. Thiago Pereira, Brazil, 2:00.11
6. Takahiro Mori, Japan, 2:00.60
7. Vytautas Janusaitis, Lithuania, 2:01.28
8. Jiro Miki, Japan, 2:02.16