Team USA’s Rio 2016 highlights and lowlights: our writers’ verdicts

From Katie Ledeckys glory to Ryan Lochtes shame, Guardian writers on the big stories from this years Olympics. Including whether Phelps trumps Bolt

Best individual US performance

When Katie Ledecky touched the wall to complete the first 200-400-800 treble in 48 years, an entire 11.38 seconds would pass longer than it took Usain Bolt to win the 100m final before Britains Jazz Carlin came in for the silver. The worlds most dominant swimmer is now a perfect 16 for 16 in individual events in international competitions and has effectively supplanted Michael Phelps as the face of the sport. BG

In an Olympics in which Michael Phelps went out on top and Simone Biles brought everybody to their feet, it was another American who was the Games top performer. Katie Ledecky, just 19, won the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle with ease. In the 400m and 800m she had already made her final turn when the rest of the swimmers were still swimming the other way. She won another gold in the 4x200m relay, and only a silver in the 4x100m kept her from a perfect five golds. LC

There were so many, but its hard to look past what Michael Phelps did. Again. For most Olympic athletes, a single gold medal is the career dream. Phelps has achieved that dream 23 times over, to the point that it had to start feeling routine. After Phelps, the individual performance runner-up is Ryan Lochte. Just saying whatever when a gun was (fake) held to his head? What courage. DG

Simone Biles. I get the Ledecky arguments, and clearly so, but to me, Biles wins it. Her Olympic legacy aside from the five medals suggests that we will never see another gymnast like her ever again. If you invent a floor trick (a double somersault in a layout position, ending with a half-twist in mid-air) that no one else can imitate, you win my vote. LME

The main image that I will take away from this Olympics are those shots of Katie Ledecky so far ahead of the rest of the field that it looked like she was completely alone in the pool. You head into the Olympics hoping to see something that will make your jaw drop and it doesnt always happen this time it did. HF

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