A Canadian television commentator has unleashed an awful on-air clanger, suffering a case of mistaken identity at the worst possible time.

As the world watched with amazement while Michael Phelps romped to victory in the 200m individual medley final, one broadcaster thought an all-time upset was brewing.

With Phelps steadily pulling clear of American rival Ryan Lochte, CBC commentator Elliotte Friedman called the race as though the latter had instead stormed in front.

Canadian viewers were left thinking Lochte had finally beaten Phelps and, instead of claiming his record 22nd Olympic gold medal, Phelps had missed the podium entirely.


Once Phelps had removed his swimming cap and the mistake became clear, Friedman confessed he had confused his lanes, later sending an apology over Twitter.