London 2012: Swimming Day Four

Michael Phelps sets a new Olympics record of 19 medals with a silver and gold, China's Ye Shiwen wins her second gold while Michael Jamieson sets a new British record to reach the men's 200m breaststroke final.

31 July 2012 Last updated at 21:28

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As it happened

  1. 2121: 

    Michael Phelps can sleep easy tonight knowing he's won his first gold medal of the Games and embossed his name in the Olympic record books. There will be more swimming tomorrow - it's the sport that just keeps on giving. Britons Michael Jamieson and Andrew Willis will be in action in the 200m breaststroke final, while the lads with the fast twitch muscle fibres will compete in the men's 100m freestyle final. Thanks for all your contributions. Good night.


    James Scarr on Twitter: "Incredible finish to Michael Phelps' Olympic career! Great swimming this evening! Go Team GB tomorrow in breaststroke!!!"

  3. 2113:  
    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    "I have never seen 18,000 people stand before but you had the whole audience acknowledging. Look at what he has done here. After that 200 fly, Michael Phelps' star is waning but to finish like this is the best end for him. I am pleased that he won tonight."

  4. 2113: 

    Michael Phelps after silver in the 200m butterfly and gold in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay: "I've had the privilege of getting to know Chad [le Clos] in the last year. We have done some shoots together and he's a hard worker and a very talented kid. I was on the other end of that finish four years ago and he got me here. I can't be too upset. The most important thing was coming back together with the relay and we did it. It's my first gold medal of the meet and I'm very happy."

  5. 2110: 

    Silver medallists France finished over three seconds behind Team USA who clocked home in 6:59.70. Michael Phelps now has 15 Olympic gold, two silver and two bronze medals. Not bad. Not bad at all.

  6. 2107: 

    The British boys finished sixth in 7:09.33 and Welshman Ieuan Lloyd describes the final as "everything I wanted it to be."

  7. 2100: 
    GOLD MEDAL USA IN RELAY- Michael Phelps wins record 19th Olympic medal

    He's done it! He's only gone and done it! A commanding performance from Phelps and his team-mates in the men's 2x200m freestyle relay. By the time the Baltimore Bullet jumped into the pool his compatriots had eked out an unassailable lead for the man who has now won more Olympic medals than any other human. Yannick Agnel tried to chase the American in the final length but the double gold medallist could not catch him and France have to settle for silver with China winning bronze.


    Amanda on Twitter: "Just asking @bbcsport if we can give the overseas sports personality of the year award now to Bert Le Clos please? #Olympics #london2012"

  9. 2059: 

    Michael Phelps makes his second appearance of the evening in the pool and the American could be set for an historic 19th Olympic medal. The men's 4x200m freestyle relay has just started and Great Britain compete from lane two, although it's the usual suspects of USA, France and Australia who should be in contention at the end.

  10. 2058: 

    Hannah Miley on finishing seventh in the final of the women's 200m individual medley: "I'm so happy I've made it in the final. I was 11th last time and seventh now. I'm really chuffed with how this meet's gone, and it's been so much better than Beijing. As a swimmer I've loved every moment of it."

  11. 2057: 

    John in Leytonstone on 81111 on text: "Thrilling stuff from Michael 'Mako' Jamieson and Andrew 'Wahoo' Willis. The crowd at that final is going to go nuts!"

    Julie from Nottingham on 81111 on text: "Loving the swimming coverage. Hope it inspires more youngsters to get involved with this great sport!"

  12. 2057:  
    Karen Pickering, Former world swimming champion and BBC pundit

    "That is a strong freestyle she has, it is her strength in the medleys. Front crawl is clearly her strongest stroke and she is just able to power through. She had that in the tank in the closing stages."

  13. 2051: 

    Teenager Shiwen Ye was first at the halfway stage, but was overtaken by Caitlin Leverenz in the breaststroke before bouncing back in the freestyle to make the other swimmers look like tugboats and breaking the Olympic record at 2:07.57 in the process. Silver goes to Australia's Alicia Coutts with America's Leverenz clinching bronze ahead of Stephanie Rice in fourth. Britain's Hannah Miley was seventh (2:11.29)

  14. 2046: 

    Time to take a break from the family Le Clos, as difficult it is to do that, and turn our attention to the women's 200m individual medley. Hannah Miley is the first swimmer to appear and, predictably, the Union flags are frantically being waved.


    Mark Scaife on Twitter: "Awesome semis by the GB swimmers, finals gonna be a belter"

  16. 2045: 

    I think I've fallen in love with not only Chad le Clos but also his father, Bert, who can't contain his excitement and pride while talking to Claire Balding. "He's the most beautiful boy you will ever meet in your life. Oh... I love you! We have tickets all over the place, it's not easy to get tickets. Unbelievable, thanks Great Britain!"

  17. 2043: 

    Emma Charnley on Twitter: "Watching that lovely Chad in tears on the podium made me stop in my tracks. Just want to mother him. Well done lad."

  18. 2042: 

    While Michael Phelps hangs the silver around his muscular neck and the South African national anthem rings around the Aquatics Centre for a tearful Chad le Clos, the 200m fly Olympic gold medallist, the female behemoths are in the cool room preparing themselves for the 200m individual medley. Hannah Miley will need to create some magic from lane one if she is to challenge the likes of Shiwen Ye in lane four and Alicia Coutts in lane five. No-one realistically expects the Brit to finish on the podium but I bet that won't stop the crowd from straining their vocal chords in encouragement.

  19. 2036: 

    Andrew Willis on his lifetime best and English record in the men's 200m breaststroke semi-final: "That is unbelievable. I wasn't nervous, more excited. The crowd really helped me out there. Both me and Michael Jamieson are in the final. Just knowing that your mate is there is great, as it is for our coach as well. I wanted to be in the final and I've done that. I'll be in a middle lane, enjoying it."

  20. 2032: 

    Wham! The British boys are on song in the pool tonight as Andrew Willis breaks the English record and at 2:08.47 is a smidgeon behind Jamieson's British record. The Englishman qualifies third fastest, with his team-mate Jamieson in the driving seat. First home in that semi was world champion Daniel Gyurta in 2:08.32, with USA's Scott Welts third in 2:08.99.

  21. 2030: 

    "Anything you can do I can do better," says Jamieson's training partner Andrew Willis as he steps out of the cool room to the raucous applause specially reserved for the Brits at the Aquatics Centre. The second semi-final is underway.

  22. 2028: 

    Michael Jamieson reacts to breaking the British record in the men's 200m breaststroke semi-final: "This is so amazing. Every time I've come out here I get goosebumps walking behind the blocks. It's really something special and it's helped me this week, I know that. I'm really happy with the time. There's a long way to go and there's some big guys in the next semi-final. I'm sure though I'm in the final."

  23. 2025: 

    The crowd go barmy! A brilliant first 100m from Michael Jamieson, who was in third at the halfway stage, and the Brit steps on the accelerator after 150m to nudge ahead of his rivals and conclude the race in first spot in a British record 2:08.20 for the men's 200m breastroke. Clark Burckle of America was second in 2:09.11 with Japan's Ryo Tateishi third in 2:09.13.

  24. 2020: 

    Here we are then, another semi-final and this time it's the men's 200m breastroke and the first race will feature Britain's Michael Jamieson who set a British record to qualify second fastest. A nation expects, Michael.


    James Guest on Twitter: "Well done Jemma Lowe!! Finally a British swimmer who knows how to turn properly!! GREAT SWIM."


    David Skelton on Twitter: "A great swimmer but Phelps surely isn't the "greatest Olympian ever". Athletics remains ultimate test & ultimate Olympic sport."

  27. 2015:  
    Mark Foster, Five-time Olympian and BBC analyst

    What a beautiful thing for Le Clos, beating his hero and the person he's always looked up to. What emotions. I would love for Michael Phelps to win three in a row but I don't think it's going to happen now. He's got his 100m butterfly to come but it's a shorter distance.

  28. 2014:  
    Ian Thorpe, Five-time Olympic champion and BBC Sport analyst

    Of all the races for Michael Phelps, I wanted him to win this. It was a fantastic finish from Le Clos. It looks like Phelps has won but in the final stroke - bang - Le Clos won it. Michael's got the relay later on this evening, I think the Americans are going to win, simple as that. Tonight is a history-making event for Michael Phelps and he will become the greatest Olympian ever.

  29. 2006: 

    China's Zige Liu edges ahead at the halfway turn, but Kathleen Hersey overtakes her at the final turn and glides through the final length in 2:05.90. Huge cheers reserved for Jemma Lowe, though, who sneaks into the final in eighth spot after finishing her semi in fifth place in 2:07.37. Spain's Mireia Garcia Belmonte (2:06.62) was second with Zsuzsanna Jakabos third (2:06.82).

  30. 2005: 

    BBC swimming pundit Adrian Moorhouse on BBC One: "You can watch the last 10m of that race and you can see the whole range of human emotions in the faces of the swimmers. It was killing them. Phelps was winning with 15m to go. Phelps glided at the end."

  31. 2004:  
    Karen Pickering, Former world swimming champion and BBC pundit

    "So often we have seen Michael spot his finish and take the close ones. But at the halfway point he took a little stroke into the wall. He had to butterfly kick into the wall, and we don't see that from the great Phelps. He just did not have the momentum to carry him through."

  32. 2003: 

    The Chinese star is home first in 2:06.10 and is followed by Japan's Natsumi Hoshi 2:06.37 and Cammile Adams in third in 2:07.3, but the big guns swim in the second semi-final, which also features Britain's Jemma Lowe.

  33. 2001:  
    Nick Hope, BBC Sport

    Contrasting pre-race approaches between Rebecca Adlington in Sunday's 400m final and Caitlin McClatchey in tonight's 200m freestyle event. For the double Olympic champion it was head down and ignore the crowd until the race was over. For Scotland's McClatchey head up wave to the crowd and enjoy the moment.

    Adlington claimed bronze, McClatchey was seventh, but she has only recently returned to the form we saw in her peak between 2006-2009, so on reflection I don't think she'll be overly disappointed with that result.


    Joe William Grover on Twitter: "That was such a tense swimming race, @MichaelPhelps came second. But he is indeed still one of the greatest swimmers of all time"

  35. 2000: 

    Chad le Clos speaking after winning the 200m butterfly, beating Michael Phelps into silver: "That's been my dream, ever since I was a little boy. Michael is my hero. I just wanted to race in the final and now I've won it. I can't believe it, I really can't."

  36. 2000:  
    Steve Parry, Olympic swimming bronze medallist and BBC pundit

    "Phelps was half a metre ahead with 3m to go and he completely glided into the finish. He had a meltdown in the last few metres. It is a ridiculous error, something you learn when you are 12 years of age."

  37. 1954: 

    Phelps led from 50m to 150m but as he turned for the final length the Baltimore bullet ran ran out of steam and was closed down at the death by South Africa's Chad le Clos who wins gold in 1:52.96. A silver for Phelps (1:53.01) who still becomes the most decorated Olympian in history alongside Larisa Latynina. Japan's Takeshi Matsude has the bronze around his neck after a 1:53.21 swim.

  38. 1952: 

    It's Phelps o'clock. "You can't call it," says Adrian Moorhouse in the commentary box as the boys step onto the blocks for the men's 200m butterfly. We're off!

  39. 1950:  
    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    "That was an amazing swim, it was a massive victory, it was absolutely brilliant from Allison Schmitt."

  40. 1946: 

    Missy Frankin led from lane eight after 50m but the 17-year-old is overtaken by compatriot Allison Schmitt at the halfway stage and she extends her lead by over a second and a half after 150m and completes 200m in an Olympic record time of 1:53.61. Leaving London with a 200m freestyle silver medal is France's Camille Muffat with Australia's Bronte Barratt in third spot. Missy Franklin misses out on bronze by a hundredth of a second, while Britain's Caitlin McClatchey was seventh. Amazingly, defending champion Federica Pellegrini swam back in fifth.

  41. 1943: 

    Yes, it's time for Colorado's Missy Franklin to continue her quest to become the first woman to swim in seven events at one Games. The crowd save their voices for Caitlin McClatchey who emerges from the cool room to ear-splitting roars. The women's 200m freestyle is nearly underway...

  42. 1942:  
    Mark Foster, Five-time Olympian and BBC analyst

    It's a phenomenal story, the fact they've called Missy Franklin the new Michael Phelps means she's the real deal.

  43. 1942: 
    Nick Hope, BBC Sport at the Aquatics Centre

    "Realistically it's going to be tough for a British athlete to attain a medal this evening and we're expecting something of an international focus with Michael Phelps bidding to become the most successful Olympian of all-time. Equally intriguing though is the prospect of seeing China's Ye Shiwen back in the pool. Thousands of column inches have been devoted to debating quite how the 16-year-old won Olympic gold in the 400m individual medley with a last 50m quicker than Ryan Lochte's in the men's event. Will the predominantly negative attention have any impact on her performance?"

  44. 1938: 
    Adrian first in men's 100m free semi

    Nathan Adrian swims off at breakneck speed and even with Yannick Agnel in his wake in second spot at the turn the American maintains his speed to complete two lengths in 47.97. Cuba's Hanser Garcia (48.04) qualifies in second spot while double gold medallist Yannick Agnel misses out with a time of 48.23.

  45. 1936: 

    Nathan Adrian, who qualified fastest from the heats, starts from lane four in the second semi and hopes to go faster than the blistering 48.19 seconds he swam this morning. "It felt good to be that easy in the first 50 and to have a little bit to come home," said the American after qualifying ahead of world record holder Cielo. "Maybe I can go faster, who knows?" Who knows indeed.

  46. 1933: 
    Magnussen wins 100m men's free semi

    World record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil is first at the turn, but world champion James Magnussen whistles through from third spot to touch home in first place in a time of 47.63. Brazilian Cielo finished second in 48.17, while Mikita Lobintsev was third in 48.38 with Gideon Louw a fingertip behind in fourth in 48.44.

  47. 1929: 

    First to trot out of the cool room, though, will be the men's 100m freestylers for their semi-finals. The first semi will feature James 'the missile' Magnussen, the world champion, and the Australian's compatriot James 'the rocket' Roberts, while the second semi features France's darling Yannick Agnel, winner of two golds already in London, and world silver medallist Brent Hayden.


    James Marsh on Twitter: "Ian Thorpe has been a revelation on the beeb. Decent dresser too."

  49. 1923: 

    The second event of the evening features Britain's Caitlin McClatchey who, according to her boyfriend and fellow Team GB swimmer Liam Tancock, "smashed" the 200m freestyle semi-final to qualify for the final in 1:57.33. The Briton faces the tough task, though, of overhauling Olympic and world champion Federica Pellegrini of Italy and 17-year-old Missy Franklin who is bidding to become the new queen of the pool.

  50. 1918: 

    Other swimmers and other events are available tonight, of course, and 22-year-old Briton Hannah Miley competes in the women's 200m individual medley and predicts she will be a part of history by taking part in a race which features Chinese schoolgirl Ye Shiwen. Can the 16-year-old, who made a big splash by winning the 400m individual medley in world record time, become double Olympic champion? Defending champion Stephanie Rice and world silver medallist Alicia Coutts will hope to create enough waves from lane seven and five respectively to stop the sport's latest teenage superstar.

  51. 1913: 

    There are, as ever, naysayers who point to Phelps's failure to step onto the podium in the 400m individual medley as evidence of his decline. It was first time the American had failed to finish in the top three at Olympic finals since he touched home in fifth place in the 200m butterfly as a sweet 15-year-old. But the butterfly is the Baltimore-born swimmer's party piece and even though he qualified fourth fastest for the final and has the likes of Yin Chen (lane three), Tyler Clary (lane two) and Takeshi Matsuda (lane four) against him, the American is many people's overwhelming favourite.

  52. 1908: 

    Phelps competes in his signature event, the 200m butterfly, at 19:49BST and is chasing record after record after record. The American could achieve a unique hat-trick should he triumph from lane six to become the first man in swimming history to win the same event at three Olympic Games. A medal of any hue would also see him level with Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina, at 18 medals, as the most decorated Olympian to have graced the Games - and it's a record he could overtake with the help of his team-mates in the 4x200m freestyle relay final at 20:51. And I thought typing was tiring…

  53. 1904: 

    Good evening to you! Four years ago Phelps created a chapter of sporting history by winning the most gold medals by any athlete at a single Games. The 27-year-old stood at the top of the podium a record eight times and even those with little interest in freestyles and medleys knew all about the American's 6ft 7in arm span and diet of pizza and cheese toasties. Tonight the Baltimore bullet has a chance to prove he is still the biggest fish in the pond and those lucky enough to be poolside in this little corner of east London could leave the Aquatics Centre whispering "I was there".

  54. 1900: 

    He has been criticised by a team-mate for not preparing properly while others believe Old Father Time has caught up with the greatest swimmer that ever lived. Has Michael Phelps's iron grip on men's swimming loosened? Perhaps, but who cares when you're on the verge of becoming the greatest of the greats - the most decorated Olympian in history.

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