Eventually, it was revenge time for the Aussie. Also, talking about the American, Phelps wanted to challenge Thorpe and he did that in style by taking part in the race and ended up with a medal.
Phelps just left everyone asking for breath in his glorious career where he won 23 Olympic gold medals. The other two amazing men we are talking about here only won three each. In comparison, it looks like a modest return which is why we use the word only.