Despite gold rush, Phelps insists Rio will be his final Games

Michael Phelps said Friday that despite picking up four medals so far at the Rio Games, he will not swim at Tokyo 2020.

Phelps had just collected a silver medal in the men's 100-metre butterfly, after finishing behind 21-year-old Singaporean Joseph Schooling, and tying with Chad le Clos and Laszlo Cseh for second, when he admitted several people had been asking him to continue.

"I’m not going four more years. I’m standing by that. I’ve been able to do everything I’ve put my mind to in the sport," he said. "(With) 24 years in the sport, I’m happy with how things finished. That’s why I came back after ’12. I didn’t want to have a "what if" 20 years later."

Phelps was already the most-decorated Olympian in history when he retired after the London Games four years ago, but became restless and struggled to transition smoothly into a post-swimming life.

Ironically it was his London defeat to Le Clos in the 200m butterfly that fuelled his decision to come back.

He regained that title in Rio, won the 200m individual medley and took relay golds in the 4x100m and 4x200m.

And there could still be one final Olympic gold - a 28th medal overall - in Satuday's 4x100 medley relay which concludes the swimming at the Games.

"Being able to close it how I wanted it," was how he described his return since 2014 but reiterated that this time it really was the end.

"I’m ready to retire. I’m in a better state of mind than I was four years ago," he said. "I'm ready to spend some time with (his young child) Boomer and (fiance) Nicole."

Phelps' position on his retirement has solidified over the course of the week. Before he came to Rio, he said this was "potentially" his last Games, aware that he had previously gone back on his London decision.

"I will be in Tokyo but I won’t be competing in Tokyo," he said. "No more. I said it a bunch before ... I swore in London I’m not coming back but this time it’s final."

Last update: Sat, 13/08/2016 - 11:41
Author: 

More from Sport

Ramos earns Real Madrid a dramatic draw in El Clasico

Sergio Ramos earned Real Madrid a dramatic late draw in El Clasico by heading in a Luka Modric free-kick to hold...

Leaders Chelsea make statement with comeback win at Man City

Chelsea sent a strong statement to the rest of the Premier League on Saturday with a 3-1 comeback win at Manchester...

Convincing win takes Hoffenheim fourth in Bundesliga; Hertha third

Unbeaten Hoffenheim moved up to fourth in the Bundesliga with a 4-0 thrashing of Cologne Saturday while Hertha...

Ronaldo, Griezmann and Messi leads FIFA awards shortlist

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been joined by Antoine Griezmann in final shortlist for the FIFA best men's...

World champion Rosberg retires from F1 racing

Nico Rosberg says he is retiring from Formula One racing, five days after winning his first world title in the sport...