London: Michael Phelps' 200m butterfly reign ended in a dramatic defeat to Chad le Clos on Tuesday, but silver allowed the American superstar to match the record for most medals in an Olympic career.

Special Coverage: London Olympic 2012

Medal Tally Of London Olympics 2012

South Africa's le Clos, third at the final turn, relentlessly reeled in Phelps and pipped him with a last-gasp surge to take the win in 1min 52.96sec.

Phelps, who had led at every turn in a quest to become the first man to win the same Olympic swimming event at three successive Games, was just five-hundredths of a second back in 1:53.01.

Phelps' silver medal took him level with Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina as the most decorated Olympic athlete of all-time with 18 medals.

He already owns the record for gold with 14, including his spectacular eight in Beijing four years ago, but has yet to win in London.

Japan's Takeshi Matsuda earned bronze in 1:53.21.

(Agencies)

Latest News from Sports News Desk