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Published: 08:21 | 12/8/16

22nd gold for Phelps

Michael Phelps became the first swimmer to win four successive Olympic gold medals in one event when he eased to victory in the 200m individual medley on Thursday night.

Phelps won gold on 1:54.66, coming home almost two seconds clear of Japan's Kosuke Hagino, with China's Shun Wang finishing third, while Ryan Lochte disappointed in fifth.

Having already secured gold in the 200m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x200m freestyle relay, Phelps could make it 23 Olympic titles if he lands the 100m butterfly final on Friday.

The American qualified fifth fastest for Friday's final by finishing second in his semi-final in a time of 51.58.

Meanwhile, Ryan Murphy completed the backstroke double by winning the 200m final, defeating Australian Mitch Larkin and Russian Evgeny Rylov.

Murphy trailed Larkin over the first 50 metres but he moved into the lead after the turn and maintained his advantage to add the 200m title to the 100m crown he won earlier in the week.

"That one was very painful but I wanted it bad. The 100m backstroke comes more naturally for me," said Murphy.

"The 200 back is an event I really have to dig deep for. This medal means a little more to me."

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