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Michael Phelps Makes Olympic History on Busy Day in Beijing

A total of 37 events produced gold medal winners Sunday on the single busiest day at the Beijing Olympics. As VOA's Jim Stevenson reports from the 29th Olympiad, a victory by swimmer Michael Phelps made the American the most decorated gold medalist at a single games.

Michael Phelps made one last swim at the Beijing Olympics Sunday. He joined with three team members to win the 4x100-meter medley relay final. That gave Phelps a record eight gold medals in one Olympics.

"To have ups, to have downs and go through everything, and be able to accomplish everything you have ever really dreamed of, it is fun," said Phelps. "It feels good. From here, I guess it is to continue with my goal of raising the sport of swimming as high as I can get it in the United States."

Perhaps completing her Olympic career was 41-year-old American Dara Torres. She collected her second and third silver medals in Beijing. Torres swam in the 50-meter freestyle, and was part of the women's fourx100 meter medley relay team.

"I have had such a fantastic time being a part of the U.S. Olympic team," Torres said. "I am going to start crying now. Sorry. It has just been awesome."

German Britta Steffen won her second gold of the games in the 50-meter event, while Australia won the team final. The men's 1,500-meter race went to Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia.

Meanwhile, Constantina Tomescu of Romania ran away from the field to win the women's marathon. She finished unchallenged in 2:26:44.

Later, inside China's National Stadium, Shelly-Ann Fraser had a much faster path to gold. She led a Jamaican sweep of the women's 100-meter sprint with a winning time of 10.78 seconds.

"I cannot believe I actually won," said Fraser. "But you know what? I just went out there and focused. Nobody expected me to win. So there was no pressure. All I had to do was execute."

Russian Gulnara Galkina-Samitova posted a world record time (8:58.81) in the Olympic debut of the women's 3000-meter steeplechase. She described why she won.

"The conditions are very favorable," said Galkina-Samitova. "This stadium was magnificent. We got support from the spectators. And that is why I managed to break the world record."

Sandra Izbasa of Romania took the women's gymnastics floor exercise gold ahead of Americans Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal added an Olympic title to his tennis resume in men's singles, while Elena Dementieva was the women's champion.

American sisters Venus and Serena Williams won the women's doubles gold, their second after taking the same title at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Stanislas Wawrinka and Swiss teammate Roger Federer had claimed the men's doubles title a day earlier.

The U.S. women's eight rowing team led from wire to wire to win the Olympic gold medal at the Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park. France defeated the United States in men's sabre to conclude the fencing competition.

Ben Ainslie of Britain won his third Olympic gold and fourth Olympic medal overall in sailing's double-points medal race. Zach Railey of the United States defended his silver medal position in the final, despite stiff winds and choppy water in Qingdao.

Host China leads the medals standing with 35 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze. The United States follows with 19 gold while Britain has 11.