Phelps wins 200m individual medley for 22nd gold

Rio de Janeiro: Michael Phelps seized another slice of Olympic history Thursday with a dominant victory in the 200m individual medley at the Rio Games, his fourth straight in the event.

Phelps joined discus thrower Al Oerter and Carl Lewis in the long jump as the only Olympians to win the same individual event at four straight Games.

He took his total of Olympic golds to 22 -- with a crack at two more in Rio in Friday's 100m butterfly and the 4x100 medley relay on Saturday.

For fans who tune into swimming only when the Olympics roll around, Phelps's longtime coach Bob Bowman had a message: Phelps may make it look easy, but it isn't.

"You just have no idea how difficult it is for anybody to win an Olympic gold medal," Bowman said.

"Michael has done it so frequently it really is hard to put it into perspective because every one of those was hard.

"Look at his numbers compared to everybody else. It's not because of the talent it's because of the work. It's a combination, but work is the thing that did it – particularly this time around."