Rio Olympics: Michael Phelps ready to reclaim that lost butterfly gold

After earning silver at in London four years ago, Phelps will look for redemption in Rio.

It was a down-and-back swim that showed Phelps, as usual, is in peak form on the biggest stage and perfectly capable of winning every race he enters at his fifth Olympics.

"I have done it (cupping) for a while but I haven't had bad ones like this for a while", Phelps said of the welts, which caused a stir among TV viewers when Phelps made his Rio debut on Sunday in the men's 4×100 metre freestyle final. Considering Phelps went 1:52-high at last summer's U.S. Nationals, there figures to be plenty more in the GOAT's tank.

When Michael Phelps arrived in Rio as a 31-year-old swimmer who retired once and endured plenty of turmoil away from the pool, everyone wondered just how many gold medals was a realistic goal.

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Swimmers Michael Phelps and Caeleb Dressel celebrate their team's victory in the men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay final on August 7 at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

"It breaks what sport is meant to be", said Phelps.

"I'm very happy with tonight's performance".

Such was the case Monday night as South Africa's Chad Le Clos stood in front of a seated Michael Phelps ahead of their 200m Butterfly semifinal and appeared to shadowbox to the music in his headphones. I thought my underwaters were better than this morning. And for Phelps's part, he says his "face" had nothing to do with le Clos:But then some remembered that his "I'm not impressed" face wasn't exactly new...

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Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, now has 19 golds, two silvers and two bronzes.

By other people, I mean the average American, who does not follow swimming.

When Le Clos qualified seventh fastest for the final earlier in the day, there were concerns that he had unnecessarily taken on too heavy a workload.

South African swimmer Chad le Clos posted the third fastest time (1:55.19) in Monday's qualifier. "I was trying to not even look at him". "I'll race my heart out".

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He faded badly in the last 50m in both the heat and the semi-final and it seemed that he would not have enough left in the tank to challenge when it mattered.

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