Michael Phelps of the U.S. spits out water after winning gold in the men's 100m butterfly final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre (Photo : Reuters)
Michael Phelps ends his final individual Olympic race with a record 17th gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly.
Although falling behind at the start of the race, Phelps rebounded in the second leg of the race. Phelps finished first over South African rival Chad le Clos at 51.21 seconds to 51.44 seconds. However, Phelps was unable to break his own world record of 50.58 seconds.
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The victory also gives Phelps his third consecutive win in the 100-meter butterfly, winning at both the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
The 17th gold medal gives Phelps his overall 21st Olympic medal, the most in Olympic history.
Phelps has the opportunity to extend the medal success on Saturday with the men's 4x100 medley relay.
Phelps has said the end of 2012 London Olympics will mark his retirement at just 27-years-old.
Speaking to Yahoo, Phelps' mother Debbie said upon retirement, her son will be playing golf throughout the world.
"To me it's boring, but to him it's very relaxing," said Debbie Phelps.
Debbie said as a mother, she would like to see her son finish his degree at college.
The Phelps victory gives the US an edge over China in gold medals, 21-20, but is tied in overall medals. Heading into today’s swimming competition, the US led the swimming medal count with 23, including 11 gold medals. China ranks second with nine overall medals, including four golds. France rounds out the top three with six medals, including three golds.
Team USA are on pace to win the most swimming gold medals since the 1972 Munich Olympics, where the US won 17 gold medals.