The amazing Michael Phelps won his third gold medal of the London 2012 Olympic Games -- and the 17th of his storied Olympic career -- as the swimmer scored a sensational come-from-behind victory in the 100-meter butterfly on Friday.

The American Phelps covered the distance in 51.21 seconds, besting the South African Chad le Clos and the Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin, who placed second and third, in that order, with official times of 51.44 seconds.

Incredibly, Phelps also won the 100-meter butterfly at the Athens 2004 Olympics and the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

With the event the final individual race of Phelps' career, he told the Associated Press, "I'm just happy that the last one was a win. That's all I really wanted coming into the night."

Phelps will compete in his final race of any kind on Saturday. It is the 4X100 medley relay, a race the U.S. men's swimming team has dominated since it made its debut at the Rome 1960 Olympics.