LONDON, Aug 3: Michael Phelps made the headlines once again at the Olympics when he stormed to victory in the men’s 100m butterfly final on Friday, helping the United States go top of the medals table in the process.

On the seventh day of full sporting competition at the Games, Phelps claimed his 17th gold medal and 21st total medal with a stirring last-lap surge at the Aquatics Centre.

Phelps, seventh at the turn, won in 51.21sec to claim his third straight Olympic gold in the event with South Arican Chad Le Clos and Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin sharing silver after both clocked 51.44.Meanwhile, Phelps’ compatriot Missy Franklin won the women's 200m backstroke gold medal in world record time. Franklin clocked two minutes, 04.06 seconds to beat the 2:04.81 set by Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry at the 2009 world championships in Rome.

The American gold rush continued when 15-year-old Katie Ledecky — the youngest member of the team — nearly broke the world record to win gold in the 800 freestyle.

Also in the pool, Florent Manaudou of France won the men's 50 metres freestyle final.

Elsewhere, the cycling velodrome promised more British glory in the men's team pursuit and women's keirin.

Britain broke their own world record to win their second straight team pursuit gold medal when Edward Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh tore over the pine wood of the London Velodrome to finish in 3 minutes, 51.659 seconds.

Victoria Pendleton of Britain, broken-hearted on Thursday when disqualified from the women's team sprint, made up for it by winning a gold medal in women's keirin.

There was more British joy at Wimbledon when Andy Murray defeated Serbian Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 to reach the final of the men’s singles tennis final where he faces Swiss star Roger Federer.

Serena Williams reached the women’s final, beating top seed Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2 to set up a final against Russia’s Maria Sharapova.

In fencing, surprise package South Korea won their first ever Olympic team gold in men's sabre by beating Romania 45-26.

Over in Cardiff, world champions Japan ended Brazil’s quest for a first women’s football title with a 2-0 quarter-final win.

They were joined in the semi-finals by France and defending champions United States.—Agencies

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