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Sports

Phelps wins gold in final race

Michael Phelps won gold Saturday in the final competitive race of his career. The American retires with a record 22 Olympic medals. Earlier, swimmers from China and Holland won gold in the last night in the Olympic pool.

Michael Phelps ended his swimming career in style Saturday, helping the United States win gold in the men's 4x100 meter medley relay. It was his last competitive race. The 27-year-old retires with 18 gold medals.

Phelps entered the pool at the London Aquatics Centre with his team in second place, but by the time he had finished the butterfly leg - the third of four - the Americans were back in first place, and remained there for the duration of the relay. Japan finished second, earning silver, while the Australians took home bronze.

Backstroker Matt Grevers, breaststroker Brendan Hansen and freestyler Nathan Adrian combined with Phelps to finish with a time of 3 minutes 29.35 seconds, just slower than the record set by the Americans at the 2009 World Championship in Rome.

Phelps leaves London with with four gold and two silver medals, bringing his career haul to 22 total medals. He eclipsed Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina's previous record of 18, set in 1964.

Swimming wraps up

China's Sun Yang reacts after he won gold in the men's 1500m freestyle final next to Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli (L) during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.

Sun broke his own world record in the 1500 meter freestyle

Earlier in the evening, Chinese swimmer Sun Yang won gold in the men's 1500 meter freestyle in 14 minutes 31.02 seconds, breaking the world record he set last year. It almost did not happen for Sun, who slipped and fell into the water before the race began, but was not charged with a false start.

"I thought I was going to be disqualified," he said, explaining that he could not hear the starter properly because of the crowd noise.

American teenager Missy Franklin picked up her fourth gold medal of the games with a win in the women's 4x100 meter medley relay.

"It is unreal," she said. "That was the perfect way to end the meet."

The first event of the evening saw Dutch swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo capture her second gold of the games with a win in the women's 50 meter freestyle. Defending champion Britta Steffen of Germany came up just short of a medal, finishing fourth.

dr/msh (Reuters, AFP, dpa)