Phelps finished the race in 51.14, far short of his world record and Olympic record times and behind gold medalist Joseph Schooling of Singapore (50.39). Phelps finished in a three-way tie for second with South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh.
“As a kid I wanted to be like him,” said Schooling, who got his photograph taken with Phelps before his eight-gold medal performance at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. “It’s crazy to think of what happens in eight years,” Schooling said, adding, “A lot of this is because of Michael. He’s the reason I wanted to be a better swimmer.”
“No, I don’t know if I have been in a tie,” Phelps said. “A three-way tie is pretty wild. It’s faster than I went, I think, four years ago to win. [Joseph Schooling] is tough. He had a great year last year and has had a really great last two years so hats off to him. He swam a great race.
“It’s wild. Chad and I have had some races over the last four years and Laszlo and I – I can’t even remember when our first race was. Probably as long as Ryan [Lochte] and I. So kind of special and a decent way to finish my last race. I can’t complain too much.”