16:00 01 August 2012
It's official: Michael Phelps is the greatest ever Olympian. At least in terms of medals. The swimming sensation now possesses 19 medals, with 15 of them gold.
Phelps crossed the milestone after he took the United States team to victory with a 4x200m freestyle relay gold.
The 27-year-old swam the anchor leg for the US team who won in a time of six minutes and 59.7 seconds, beating closest rivals France (second) and China (third). Ryan Lochte started the team off brilliantly.
With 19 medals to his name, Phelps over takes Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina, who held 18 medals.
Despite hoping to retire soon, Phelps still has three more races at London 2012 which cement an even bigger lead.
The Baltimore swimmer said: "It has been a pretty amazing career, but we still have a couple races to go"
As impressive as his London 2012 performance is, it won't top the 2008 games where he won a record-breaking eight golds.
Just minutes before the relay victory which put him on top, Phelps had just scored a silver behind South Africa's Chad le Clos in the 200m butterfly, which tied him for the Olympic medal record. Even that was nearly a gold, with Le Clos closing in by just 0.05 seconds ahead of Phelps.
Phelps explained: "Obviously I would have liked to have had a better outcome in the 200m fly. I was on the receiving end of getting touched off.
"Chad swam a great race. I've gotten to know him over the past year and he's a hard worker, tough competitor and a racer.
"It was obviously my last one and I would have liked to have won, but, you know, one minute 53 seconds isn't a terrible time."
The Americans went on to finish 3.07secs ahead of silver medal winners France, with China a further 3.53secs back forcing them to settle for a bronze.
Meanwhile, Great Britain's team of Robbie Renwick, Ieuan Lloyd, Rob Bale and Ross Davenport finished sixth.
The medal board as of Wednesday afternoon August 1st stands at:
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