The records fell like dominoes at the swimming championships in Rome this year, as Michael Phelps of the U.S. added to his already gilded career with five gold medals, the most at the competition.

The 13th FINA World Championships in Rome, included events in swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and open water events.

One of Phelps gold medals this year came today in the men’s 4x100m medley relay, which the U.S. won with a time of 3 minutes 27.28 seconds, a new world record. Germany’s team - which included the only man to defeat Phelps at the competition, Paul Biederman – came in second, while Australia earned third place.

Since 2001, Phelps has won 20 gold medals and 4 silver medals at the World Championships, the best for any athlete in the history of the event.

“We wanted to finish on the best note we could,” Phelps said afterwards, speaking for the team, “and that was breaking the record. Everyone swam great splits and we had Eric (Shanteau) and Dave (Walters) doing their first relay, and that was great because there’s nothing like being in that first relay.” Also on the winning team was Aaron Peirsol.

“If the stands are packed, and the stands are loud, we’re going to swim faster. These rivalries we have; these races we have, that’s what makes the sport exciting.”