Michael Phelps has enjoyed another sensational Olympic Games, seizing gold medals in the 100m butterfly, the 4x100m relay and the 4x200m relay. He has more than double the number of gold medals of the second best Olympic performer of all time, and can go one better by claiming another gold in his final ever event, the 200m butterfly.
Michael Phelps has enjoyed another sensational Olympic Games, seizing gold medals in the 100m butterfly, the 4x100m relay, and the 4x200m relay. It has taken his overall tally to 21 gold medals, vindicated his decision to come out of retirement for the Rio Games and cemented his status as the greatest Olympian of all time. He has more than double the number of gold medals of the second best Olympic performer of all time, and can go one better by claiming another gold in his final ever event, the 200m butterfly.
At 31, Phelps will surely never make it to another Olympics. He retired a couple of years ago, only to return for these Games. He is not the swimmer of old, however, and is not competing in half as many events as he used to, so he is highly likely to retire for good after Rio.
But not before he has competed in the 100m against South African rival Chad le Clos. One minor blip in Phelps' almost perfect Olympic record was losing the 200m butterfly to le Clos at the 2012 Games in London. It infuriated the ultra-competitive Phelps, who was pictured giving the South African a fierce deathly stare in a photo that spawned hundreds of internet memes. Phelps gained sweet revenge, however, by comfortably beating le Clos in the 200m butterfly at Rio this week.
Phelps has won gold in the butterfly, free style, and medley, but butterfly has always been his strongest event and that is why he has chosen the butterfly for his comeback. He holds the world record in both the 100m and 200m, both set in Rome in 2009. His winning time of 1:53:36 was some way off his world record of 1:51:51, but he still finished 0.04 seconds ahead of Masato Sakai, with le Clos back in fourth.
The old foes are the first and second favorite betting pick with Bovada for the 100m final, but Phelps is some way ahead in the odds and deservedly so. He posted the fastest time in the butterfly of 2016 with 50:86, which is behind his world record 49:82 but that is unlikely to matter. That is faster than le Clos has ever been in the 100m fly and his form should be enough to see him win the 100m, as he has done at the previous three Olympic Games, a winning run that stretches all the way back to Athens in 2004.
Here are the betting odds for the 100m butterfly final, as of Bovada on August 10:
Michael Phelps (USA) -250
Chad Le Clos (RSA) +250
Laszlo Cseh (HUN) +800
Joseph Schooling (SIN) +1400
Tom Shields (USA) +2800
Konrad Czerniak (POL) +5000
Li Zhuhao (CHN) +5000
Mehdy Metella (FRA) +8000
Matteo Rivolta (ITA) +10000
Jeremy Stravius (FRA) +10000
Alexsandr Sadovnikov (RUS) +10000
Piero Codia (ITA) +10000
Pawel Korzeniowski (POL) +10000
Evgeny Koptelov (RUS) +10000