Michael Phelps tonight equalled the all-time record for the most Olympic medals when his silver in the 200 metres butterfly took him to 18.

The 27-year-old started the evening with 14 gold, one silver and two bronze medals over three Olympic Games since 2004.

His second place tonight was sufficient to see him move alongside Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, whose record had stood since 1964.

However, the American has always maintained he is not interested in medal counts and will be furious with himself after Chad le Clos of South Africa beat him on the touch.