Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Michael Phelps wins gold in last Olympic race before retiring

LONDON — One by one his rivals formed a handshake line behind the blocks at the London Aquatics Centre and paid homage to Michael Phelps. In what he said was his racing finale Saturday, as a member of the U.S. men's 400-meter medley relay team, Phelps collected his 22nd medal and 18th gold.

Before Phelps retired, he had one last trophy to collect: a statuette from swimming's governing body that recognized his place in Olympic history and resembled a crinkled piece of aluminum foil from a footlong sandwich.

"It's kind of weird looking at this and seeing 'Greatest Olympian of All Time,' " Phelps said, adding, "I finished my career the way I wanted to. I think that's pretty cool."

Some architects of history work from a blueprint, while others, like Phelps, do not want to acknowledge any ceiling. Phelps transformed swimming, inspiring a generation at home and abroad, by building an audacious program out of grit, guts and a burning desire to make swimming cool for children all over the world.

"I wanted to change the sport and take it to another level," Phelps said.

Mission accomplished.

Saturday, Phelps' butterfly followed Matt Grevers' backstroke and Brendan Hansen's breaststroke in the medley relay, and 50.73 seconds later, his career over, he gave the anchor, free­styler Nathan Adrian, a lead that Adrian turned into a runaway victory over Japan and Australia. The Americans won in 3 minutes, 29.35 seconds, just off their 2008 Olympic record .

"I was able to really put the final cherry on top (Saturday), put all the whipped cream I wanted and sprinkles. I was able to top off the sundae," Phelps, 27, said.

Phelps wasn't the only star of the night. Missy Franklin capped off an impressive Olympic debut by helping the United States take gold in the women's 400 medley relay with a world-record time, 3:52.05, beating the mark of 3:52.19 set by China at the 2009 world championships.

It was the fourth gold for Franklin, 17, tying Amy Van Dyken in 1996 for the most by a U.S. female swimmer at a Games. Franklin's other medal was bronze, bringing her overall total to five in seven events, the same number of events Phelps swam.

Another member of that relay was Allison Schmitt, who trained with Phelps over the past year in Baltimore and became friends with him. She finished with three golds, a silver and a bronze.

China's Sun Yang won the 1,500 freestyle in a world-record 14:31.02. That beat his mark from last year's world championships by 3.12 seconds. Sun added that to his gold in the 400 free.

The Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo won the women's 50 free to complete a sweep of the sprints in an Olympic-record 24.05 seconds. But this night was all about a farewell for Phelps.

Later, as he got up to leave one news conference and go to another, the other three U.S. swimmers were asked if they thought he would stay retired.

Phelps wouldn't even let them answer, saying, "Yes! Yes!"

 
Comments
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Updated: 8 minutes ago

Captainís Corner: Look for that strong speckled trout bite on grass flats

The speckled trout bite has taken off nicely after the first good cold front last weekend. You will find a consistent bite along the grass flats from Apollo Beach down to Pinellas Point. The sweet spot seems to be 4-6 feet of water. If you can find s...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Nobody has Jameis Winstonís back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody has Jameis Winstonís back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody is a bigger supporter of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston than head coach Dirk Koetter.That was the passionate message that offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken unloaded at his news conference Thursday, saying that reports that Win...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida Gators, Florida State both on track for lackluster recruiting classes

Florida Gators, Florida State both on track for lackluster recruiting classes

A month ago, the Gators and Florida State were both on track to land top-10 recruiting classes.Less than a week before the inaugural early signing period begins, both are on pace to land their worst classes of the Rivals era, with the crazy coaching ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay girls swim teams

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay girls swim teams

Hillsborough County Swimmer of the Year: Morgan Tankersley, Sr., PlantTankersley defended her state title in the 500 free (4:44.75) and placed second in one of the countryís fastest 200 free races in 1:46.75, 2.07 seconds behind Buchholz junior Isa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay boys swim teams

Tampa Bay Timesí all-Tampa Bay boys swim teams

Hillsborough County Swimmer of the Year: Brendan Driscoll, Jr., JesuitDriscoll was the only boys swimmer from Hillsborough County to win an individual state title this year and he did it with emphasis, taking gold in the 500 free in 4:29.50, almost...
Updated: 4 hours ago
When you think youíve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

When you think youíve got Brayden Point figured out, a surprise awaits

GLENDALE, Ariz. ó Center Brayden Point is the Lightningís calmest player, both on the ice and off, according to Victor Hedman.Pointís soft-spoken nature belies his baby face and 5-foot-10 frame. "Iíve never seen him angry before," Hedman said.That ma...
Updated: 5 hours ago
How to optimize your college football bowl-watching experience

How to optimize your college football bowl-watching experience

Game-day guide to watching bowl games over the next few weeks: Five locals to watch Toledo WR Diontae Johnson (Lennard High): Only two players in the country average more yards per touch than Johnson (19.1), who could light up Appalachian State in ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Cannon Fodder podcast: Letís revisit Monday night games in Bucsí past

Cannon Fodder podcast: Letís revisit Monday night games in Bucsí past

Times Bucs writer Greg Auman has injury updates on Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy and a nostalgic trip through the Bucsí history on Monday night, including the current three-game win streak and yes, that infamous 2003 Colts game where the Bucs were u...
Updated: 7 hours ago