Phelps powers into Olympic history

US swimming ace takes two more Beijing golds, becoming greatest Olympian ever.

    Phelps' 11 Olympic golds make him the most successful Olympian in history [EPA]

    Aided by teammates Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay, the US led the entire race, winning in 6 minutes, 58.56 seconds and beating the previous record set by the Americans at last year's world championships in Australia.

    The Russian team took silver with a time of 7:07.70 while Australia earned with 7:04.98.

    Phelp's gold haul

    Athens 2004: six gold medals

    Beijing 2008:

    400m individual medley
    gold

    4x100m free relay
    gold


    200m freestyle
    gold

    200m butterfly
    gold

    4x200m free relay
    gold

    Earlier Phelps powered to victory in Wednesday's 200-metre butterfly, breaking the world record in the process with a time of 1 minute 52.03 seconds.

    Hungary's Laszlo Cseh was second in 1:52.70, while Japan's Takeshi Matsuda took the bronze with a time of 1:52.97.

    Wu Peng, who carried host China's hopes for a medal in the event, finished fourth.

    It was a different tale however in the women's 200m freestyle with China's Pang Jiaying scoring an unexpected bronze behind winner Federica Pellegrini of Italy.

    "I didn't expect this medal, my coach told me that even eighth place would be okay," said Pang, who hit the fingerboard more than two seconds ahead of her previous personal best.

    Records shattered

    Phelps is targetting a record eight golds in Beijing [GALLO/GETTY]

    Phelps' five events so far in Beijing have seen him shatter world records every time.

    His 11 Olympic golds overall surpasses such Olympic icons as Paavo Nurmi, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz and Larysa Latynina, who all won nine golds in their careers.

    Phelps, who won six golds in Athens in 2004, is targeting a haul of eight gold medals in Beijing, aiming to break Spitz's record of seven golds in a single games.

    Beijing's spectacular Water Cube venue saw more records tumble on Wednesday as Australia's Eamon Sullivan reclaimed the world record in the 100-metre freestyle semi-finals, about two minutes after Frenchman Alain Bernard took it from him.

    Pellegrini's win in the women's 200m freestyle also set a new world record time of 1:54.82.

    Wdednesday's victory makes Pellegrini, who won silver in Athens in 2004, Italy's first-ever female Olympic swimming champion.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.