His arms soaring through the water one last time, Phelps got his hand on the wall a hundredth of a second ahead of Serbia's Milorad Cavic. Phelps' time was 50.58 seconds, the only time in these Olympics that Phelps won an event without breaking the world record.
The 23-year-old from Baltimore has now pulled even with the greatest of Olympic records, matching Spitz's performance in the 1972 Munich Games.
Call this one the Great Haul of China -- and it's not done yet.
Phelps will return on Sunday to swim in his final event of these games, taking the butterfly leg of the 400 medley relay. The Americans will be heavily favored to give him his eighth gold, leaving Spitz behind.