Michael Phelps holds four fingers up after winning his fourth gold in Rio.
Michael Phelps holds four fingers up after winning his fourth gold in Rio.

RIO 2016: Phelps grabs yet another Olympic gold

SWIMMING: Michael Phelps has become the first swimmer (male or female) to win the same event at four Olympic Games.

Only two athletes in any sport, discus thrower Al Oerter and Carl Lewis in the long jump, have ever pulled off the feat of four consecutive individual titles in the same event.

Phelps, 31, took first place in the 200m individual medley to make it 22 golds and 26 medals overall.

His overall gold medal tally far succeeds any other Olympian with Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz, Larisa Latynina and Paavo Nurmi each with nine gold medals.

The great American will have the chance to further add to his tally on Saturday and Sunday as he is in the 100m butterfly and is set to be a part of the US 4x100m medley relay team.

Phelps trailed American teammate Ryan Lochte after after the butterfly and backstroke legs, but came from behind in the breaststroke before pulling well clear in the freestyle leg to win in 1 minute 54.66 seconds.

Japan's Kosuke Hagino was the silver medallist in 1:56.61 with China's Wang Shun taking bronze.

It was Phelps' fourth gold of the Rio Games.

Phelps' 13th individual gold broke an ancient Olympic record.

He moved past Leonidas of Rhodes who won 12 individual events over four Olympics.

He won his last three golds at the age of 36 in 152 B.C, in races of about 200m and 400m and in a shield-carrying race.