Michael Phelps wins 19th Olympic gold medal, helping 4×100 relay team to victory

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2016 file photo, United States' Michael Phelps prepares for a swimming training session at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Phelps swims in preliminaries of the men’s 200 meter butterfly Monday, Aug. 8. He holds the world and Olympic records in the event. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Michael Phelps has earned the 19th gold medal of his career, helping the United States win the 4×100-meter freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics.

Phelps took the second leg after Caeleb Dressel led off for the Americans, and it was another memorable performance at a distance that isn’t Phelps’ specialty. His split of 47.12 seconds gave the Americans a lead they never relinquished. In fact, it was a faster time than all but the three anchors on the medal-winning teams.

Ryan Held protected the top spot before handing off to Nathan Adrian, the top sprinter in America. It was never really in doubt at that point, as Adrian touched first in 3 minutes, 9.92 seconds. Defending Olympic champion France took the silver in 3:10.53, while Australia rallied for the bronze in 3:11.37.

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