Michael Phelps wins record 20th gold, in 200m IM; Soni sets record in breaststroke

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American swimmer Michael Phelps reacts to winning his first individual gold medal at the London 2012 Games. He beat Ryan Lochte (left) in the men's 200m individual medley final. Phelps completed a historic third consecutive 200m IM Olympic victory.

Breaking News Update at 3:27 p.m. ET: Phelps Wins 20th Gold Medal.

Michael Phelps has won the men's 200-meter individual medley at the 2012 Summer Games, winning his 20th Olympic medal — and his first individual gold medal in London.

Phelps led Lochte by .16 of one second at the first turn, in the butterfly. He maintained his lead in the backstroke — the discipline Lochte had just raced in half an hour earlier in the day.

Phelps was close to world-record pace throughout the race, maintaining his lead through the breaststroke and freestyle. But he finished short of the record held by Lochte, who finished second to take the silver medal.

Phelps swam in the third lane, right next to Loche, in lane four. Next to them was Laszlo Cseh, who finished third.

The event is Lochte's final individual event at the London Games.

NPR's original post continues:

American Rebecca Soni has won a gold medal at the London Summer Olympics, winning the women's 200-meter breaststroke in a race that she led from start to finish. She also set a new world record, at 2 minutes and 19.59 seconds.

Update at 3 p.m. ET: Tyler Clary has won gold in the 200m backstroke, defeating Team USA teammate Ryan Lochte, who won bronze, and Japan's Ryosuke Irie, who won silver. Clary set a new Olympic record with his winning time of 1:53.41. Irie was .37 of one second behind, and Lochte trailed by .53.

Lochte's race began just 31 minutes before the scheduled start of his heralded race against teammate Michael Phelps, in the 200-meter individual medley.

The women's breaststroke win is a vindication for Soni, 25, who lost to Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte in the 100-meter breaststroke. Meilytyte did not enter the 200-meter event, in which Soni is the defending gold medalist from the 2008 Beijing Games.

In taking charge of Thursday's final, Soni broke the world record of 2 minutes and 20 seconds that she had set in her qualifying race Wednesday evening. She

In an interview of Soni by NPR's Margot Adler earlier this year, Soni described how she was working on her starts, and her turns. And she also revealed that she'd also finally learned how to take a day off from her rigorous training.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio.

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