With victory in the 4x100m medley, swimmer Michael Phelps (photo, from bbc.co.uk) won his eighth Olympic gold medal of the Beijing Games, in order to beat the record established by Mark Spitz in 1972, where he won seven.
Teaming up with Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen and Jason Lezak, the 23-year-old man claimed the historic gold for the United States, in a world record time.
In three minutes 29.34 seconds, they held off Australia and Japan to win in a race that was all about record-breaking Mr Phelps’ place in history.
Over the nine days, Michael Phelps swam 17 times and set world records in seven finals. Before 4x100m medley, he won the 400m medley, 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 4x100m free relay, 4x200m free relay, 200m medley and the 100m butterfly.
The 6ft 4in swimmer has dominated the action in the Water Cube in Beijing, although his triumph was far from straightforward.
When Mr Phelps dived into the water for the third leg butterfly, his team was in third position but he powered them into the lead. And even though the Australian Eamon Sullivan tried to chase the Americans down, Jason Lezak held on, in order to clinch Michael Phelps’ record win.
Mr Phelps’ Olympic medal haul have been taken to 14 golds, and 16 overall.
After achieving his feat, Mr Phelps admitted to being overwhelmed and was quick to pay tribute to his team-mates.
‘Nothing is impossible’
“I don’t even know what to feel right now”, he said.
“There are so many emotions going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom.
“Without the help of my team-mates this isn’t possible.
“I was able to be a part of three relays and we were able to put up a solid team effort and we came together as one unit.
“For the three Olympics I’ve been a part of, this is by far the closest men’s team that we’ve ever had.
“I didn’t know everybody coming into this Olympics, but I feel going out I know every single person very well. The team that we had is the difference.
“Nothing is impossible.
“With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination, and that’s something I learned and something that helped me.
“It’s been nothing but an upwards roller-coaster and it’s been nothing but fun.”
Aaron Peirsol, his team-mate, added : “It’s a beautiful thing, I am so proud to be a part of this relay team.
“It wasn’t like we were doing this for Michael, but it’s an honour to be part of it. It would have been something if we hadn’t done it.”
Grant Hackett, Australian swimmer said: “Michael Phelps – you can’t put it in words what he has done here, his level of achievement is phenomenal and I don’t think it will ever be seen again.”