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Phelps Wins Historic 8th Olympic Gold Medal


American swimmer Michael Phelps has made history by winning his eighth gold medal at the Beijing Games, something no other athlete has ever achieved in the modern Olympics.

Phelps and his teammates won the men's four-by-100-meters medley relay Sunday in a world record time of three minutes, 29.34 seconds. Phelps' teammate Jason Lezak swam the last leg and won the race. Lezak had also anchored the 400 meters freestyle relay to preserve Phelps' historic bid.

Since the modern Olympics started in 1896, no athlete has ever won eight gold medals at a single Games. American Mark Spitz won seven medals in Munich in 1972.

Australia Sets Swimming Record

In other swimming events Sunday, Australia's women's team set a world record on its way to winning the four-by-100 meter medley relay in three minutes, 52.69 seconds.

American swimmer Dara Torres missed her attempt to win gold in the women's 50-meters freestyle, losing to Germany's Britta Steffen by 1/100 of a second - 24.07 to 24.06. The 41-year-old Torres was appearing in her fifth Olympic games.

In the men's 1,500 meters freestyle race, Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia won the gold medal.

Romanian Wins Womens' Marathon

Earlier in athletics, Romania's Constantina Tomescu won the women's marathon in two hours, 26 minutes, 44 seconds.

A total of 35 medals will be awarded Sunday including in gymnastics, diving, wrestling, rowing and athletics. The United States leads the total medals with 57, but China has more golds, with 27 to 17 for the U.S.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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