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Historic day for Phelps

(Xinhua)

09:35, August 01, 2012

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Tuesday was a historic day for the Olympic Games as Michael Phelps claimed two medals to take his tally to 19 and become the greatest Olympian all time.

The silver medal won by Phelps in the 200 meters butterfly, in which he finished 0.05 seconds behind South African Chad le Clos, saw him draw level in the medal tally with former Russian gymnast, Larisa Latymina, but any disappointment he felt at losing a race he looked like he was going to win was soon wiped away when he swam the anchor leg as the U.S. team took gold in the 4x200 meters relay to take that historic 19th medal.

"I have always said anything is possible, I put my mind to doing something and this has been an amazing ride," said Phelps, who added he was not too disappointed at missing out on gold in the 200 meters butterfly.

"These are things I work on, I was lazy going into the wall in the 200 butterfly, I can accept that," he said.

"Chad was in the right place at the right time and he got his hand on the wall first. I have got to know him, he is a good competitor, a hardworking and hungry kid. It was a bit frustrating, but I tried to shut it out of my head for the relay as I didn't want to let the team down. I started to smile with 25 meters to go, it was a cool feeling," said Phelps, who admitted he had struggled not to cry while on the podium with his companions from the relay team.

"I tried to hold myself together on the podium after the relay, but my eyes were filling with water, it is emotional and a great way to end the night."

"It shows that hard work does pay off. My coach has helped me get to where I am today, we have put our mind to it and gone out to be first and that is special. There are a lot of emotions going through my head, but I have other races, such as a 200 meters in the morning.

"I will try to sleep, but it's not going to be easy," said the man who had just made Olympic history.

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