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Michael Phelps wins his 21st gold medal

In an unforgettable display of Olympic power Michael Phelps won two more finals to take his historic all-time record load to 21 golds and entrench his legendary status.

In his first gold medal for the night, Phelps beat Japan's Masato Sakai by just four hundredths of a second to take the 200 metres butterfly and just over an hour later anchored the US 4x200m freestyle relay team to victory.

At 31 - the oldest individual Olympic swimming gold medallist ever - Phelps is still the master of the pool.

After claiming his 20th title in five Olympics - beating old rival Chad le Clos in the process - Phelps stood in the pool striking a pose like a Roman emperor as he soaked up the acclaim.

After an emotional medals ceremony, he climbed across the massed ranks of photographers to kiss fiance Nicole Johnson and their child Boomer.

Michael Phelps kissing his son, Boomer. PHOTO: AFP

Phelps then claimed his second gold medal in one night and the 21st of his career as the United States won the men's 4x200 metres Olympic freestyle relay. The most successful Olympian of all time swam the final leg to extend his career tally to a total of 25 medals, also including two silver and two bronze.

The Americans led throughout the, with Conor Dwyer handing over to Townley Haas and Ryan Lochte.

There was a huge roar from the Rio crowd when Phelps sprang from the block with a lead of 1.76 seconds over Japan, and 2.88 seconds over Britain.

The American relay team congratulating Phelps (bottom). PHOTO: AFP

The Americans touched home in 7 minutes 00.66 seconds.

For Britain, who had qualified first for the final, James Guy overhauled Takeshi Matsuda on the final leg to take the silver in 7:03.13, with Japan clocking 7:03.50. It was Britain's first medal in this event since they won a bronze in 1984, and made up for Guy's disappointment in failing to pick up a medal in the 200m and 400m freestyle.

But the night belonged to the Americans and Phelps, who after four days of competition in Rio has won three gold medals at his fifth Olympic Games.

Source: AFP, Reuters

OlympicsSwimming2016 Rio Olympics