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1ST LEAD Phelps says golden goodbye to Olympics; US hit 1,000 golds in Games By Derek Wilson, dpa

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Michael Phelps‘ last race at the Rio Olympics brought his 23rd gold medal as the United States won the men‘s 4x100-metre medley relay Saturday, moments after their women‘s equivalent secured the country‘s 1,000th gold at Summer Games.

Phelps opened in the butterfly leg of the men‘s race before team-mates Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller and Nathan Adrian ensured victory over Britain and Australia.

It is Phelps‘ fifth gold of the Rio Games. The most-decorated Olympian in history ends his career at the Games with 28 medals overall (23-3-2).

The victory came after the women‘s 4x100m medley team won what the United States Olympic Committee confirmed as its 1,000th at Summer Games. These numbers are considered official by USOC despite questions over the nationality of athletes competing in early editions.

Italy‘s Gregorio Paltrinieri won the men‘s 1,500m freestyle in emphatic fashion from Connor Jaeger and Gabriele Detti, only fading from an attempt at the world record in the last 100 metres.

And the women‘s 50m freestyle went to Pernille Blume of Denmark ahead of Simone Manuel and Aliaksandra Heraimenia.

Ryan Murphy started well for the US in the men‘s relay, setting a backstroke world record of 51.85 seconds, but Cody Miller could not defend the lead as Britain‘s Adam Peaty, the best sprint breaststroker in the world, emphatically hauled him in.

But Phelps, swimming the third butterfly leg, put the US back in control and Nathan Adrian completed victory in an Olympic record of 3 minutes 27.95 seconds. Britain were 1.29 seconds behind at the wall.

The US did not have things all their own way in the women‘s relay either. Kathleen Baker finished the opening leg fourth but Lilly King and Dana Vollmer gave Simone Manuel a lead to defend. The 100m freestyle champion was never challenged in taking the quartet home in 3:53.13.

Australia were second, 1.87 seconds behind, with bronze going to Denmark just 1 hundredth further back.

Paltrinieri added the Olympic title to his world championship crown by winning in 14:34.57 seconds. The American Jaeger took silver nearly five seconds behind with Paltrinieri‘s compatriot Detti claiming bronze.

Paltrinieri swam alone at the front almost the entire race and at one point was more than a second under the world record. However, he could not quite match Sun Yang‘s 13:31.02 mark from London as he tired sharply after the penultimate turn.

Australia‘s Mack Horton, the 400m champion, finished fifth, while Sun was not in attendance having failed to progress through the heats.

The highly-rated Campbell sisters, Cate and Bronte of Australia, came up short again in the women‘s 50m freestyle, finishing fifth and seventh respectively.

They were outshone by Blume, who triumphed in 24.07 seconds with 100m champion Manuel of the US just 2 hundredths behind. The Belorussian Heraimenia was a further 2 hundredths adrift.

Cate Campbell did return to take silver as part of the Austrlian medley team while Blume added a bronze with Denmark.

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