By Erik Brady, USA TODAY
LONDON - Was there any other way it could end?
Michael Phelps won gold Saturday night with his 4 x 100-meter medley relay teammates in the last race of the Olympic swim meet - and of his storied career.
The victory upped his medal count to an unsurpassed, and perhaps unsurpassable, 22 - 18 gold, two silver, two bronze
The U.S. won with a time of 3:29.35. Japan was second and Australia third.
Phelps swam the butterfly leg of the event with teammates Matt Grevers (backstroke), Brendan Hansen (breaststroke) and Nathan Adrian (freestyle). Phelps took the lead from Japan on his leg of the relay and Adrian pulled away for a 1.91 second margin of victory.
The USA has never lost the medley relay since it debuted as an Olympic sport in 1960. Australia won the event in 1980, when the USA boycotted the Moscow Games.
American swimmers finished the London Games with 30 medals, one less than the 2008 Games in Beijing. Japan won 11 medals in London and Australia and China tied with 10.