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5th Olympics for Phelps

OMAHA (AFP) – Michael Phelps is headed to Rio, the 18-time Olympic gold medalist securing a milestone fifth games appearance on Wednesday at the US swimming trials.

Phelps, owner of 22 Olympic medals in all, became the first US man to qualify to swim in five Games with a hard-fought victory in the 200m butterfly.

The time of 1min 54.84sec was nothing to shout about, but when he saw the scoreboard Phelps raised his right hand, all five fingers extended.

“Just being able to finish how I want to is so important to me,’’ said Phelps, who has voiced regrets with his poor preparation for the London Games four years ago.

“Getting on this team was what I wanted to do.’’