Phenomenal Dressel Shines In Golden Session For Usa
Another memorable evening at the Duna Arena, during the seventh day of the swimming finals at the FINA World Championships in Budapest (HUN)! And one protagonist, who made history: for the first time in a single session, a swimmer wins three gold medals! His name: Caeleb Dressel, from the USA. The 20-year-old North American easily won the 50m free, 100m butterfly, and led-off with success the US quartet in the mixed 4x100m free relay. Retain his name: Dressel will certainly be one of the stars to look in the future and the Tokyo 2020 Games seem to be the ideal moment to shine at Olympic level.
The fourth gold of the day for the USA came from Katie Ledecky, also easily triumphing in the women’s 800m free. The US great has now 14 gold medals at FINA World Championships (including five in Hungary).
The two non-American wins of the day were obtained by Sarah Sjostrom in the 50m butterfly, in a new Championships Record. Later in the evening, the Swedish champion established a new World Record in the semis of the 50m free, clocking 23.67.
Finally, Emily Seebohm (AUS) earned gold in the women’s 200m back, leaving Katinka Hosszu (HUN) with the silver, and the Hungarian crowd with a feeling of frustration…
Women’s 50m fly
In the first final of the day, Sarah Sjostrom (SWE) was clearly superior in the women’s 50m butterfly, getting the gold in a new Championships record of 24.60. The previous best mark of the competition had also been achieved by the Swedish great, two years ago in Kazan, in a time of 24.96. After Inge de Bruijn (NED) in 2001/2003, Sjostrom is the second swimmer to revalidate the title in this event. She is also the current WR holder, with a 24.43 effort from July 2014 in her country. Silver medallist in the 100m free and winner of the 100m fly in Budapest, Sjostrom was the only one in the field to swim under 25 seconds, with Ranomi Kromowidjojo, from the Netherlands, getting silver in 25.38 and Farida Osman, from Egypt, earning bronze in 25.39. It was the first medal-ever for the African country in the history of the World Championships (all disciplines and genders included). Osman had been fifth in Kazan 2015, while Kromowidjojo was bronze medallist four years ago in Barcelona.
Men’s 50m free
Caeleb Dressel, from the United States, continues to reinforce his revelation status in Budapest, by getting the gold in the men’s 50m free, in a fast time of 21.15. Already the fastest of the semis, the 20-year-old North American swimmer accumulates now four titles in the Magyar capital: besides the 50m free, he was also champion in the 100m free, 4x100m free and 4x100m medley relay. He became the fourth swimmer in history to accumulate the 50m and 100m crowns in the same edition of the Championships, after Alexander Popov (RUS, 1994 and 2003), Anthony Ervin (USA, 2001) and Cesar Cielo (BRA, 2009). Bruno Fratus (third in Kazan 2015) gave Brazil the fifth medal in the swimming competition, touching for silver in 21.27. The bronze went to Ben Proud, of Great Britain, in 21.43, while 2013 silver medallist Vladimir Morozov (RUS) was this time fourth in 21.46. The World Record (20.91) holder Cielo, the second Brazilian of the final, had to content with the eighth and last position, in 21.83.
Women’s 200m back
With Katinka Hosszu (HUN) swimming in lane 1, the Duna Arena almost came down to support her, but the crowd’s help was not enough to make the Magyar star swim faster. In the end, Emily Seebohm, from Australia, revalidated her 2015 world title in 2:05.68, with Hosszu (runner-up at the Rio 2016 Olympics and bronze medallist two years ago in Russia) getting the silver in 2:05.85. It’s the 12th world medal for the Magyar great, who now accumulates six gold, one silver and five bronze. In third, Kathleen Baker (USA, 2:06.48) completed the podium. The North American was silver in the 100m back here in Budapest, after being also second at the Rio Games. Baker’s achievement also represents the eighth consecutive medal for US in this event, since 2003.
Men’s 100m fly
Caeleb Dressel (USA) continued to make history at the FINA World Championships, with another impressive victory in the 100m fly. He becomes the only swimmer in history to have won this event and the 100m free final in the same edition of the Championships. Touching gold in 49.86, he was 0.04 slower than the impressive World Record from Michael Phelps, established in Rome 2009. Dressel clearly dominated operations in the pool, with silver medallist (surprising Kristof Milak, from Hungary), arriving almost one second later, in 50.62. Joseph Schooling (SGP), who had won in an outstanding way this event in Rio 2016, leaving Phelps, Le Clos (eliminated in the semis in Budapest) and Laszlo Cseh (fifth of the final) with a shared silver medal, was this time the one dividing his bronze medal, with James Guy, from Great Britain. Both athletes touched in 50.83. Dressel, turning 21 on August 16, will definitively be the athlete to watch in the future and his performances in the Magyar capital are a good anticipation of what he can do at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. In Rio, last summer, he won two gold, but in relay events, the 4x100m free and 4x100m medley.
Women’s 800m free
Katie Ledecky (USA), once more, swam a solitary race, to get her 14th gold at the FINA World Championships, this time in the 800m free. The North American great touched for victory in 8:12.68, approximately eight seconds slower than her World Record of 8:04.79, set at the Rio 2016 Olympics. In the Magyar capital, this is the fifth triumph for Ledecky, after previous successes in the 400m and 1500m free, 4x100m free and 4x200m free relay. She was also silver medallist in the 200m free, behind Federica Pellegrini (ITA). Moreover, this is the third consecutive world crown for the North American in this event, after the 2013 and 2015 titles. With the gold settled, the minor medals went to Li Bingjie (CHN), in 8:15.46 – her first individual podium presence at this level, after being second in the 4x200m free relay -, and to Leah Smith, also from the United States in 8:17.22. Smith had been third in the 400m free at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Mireia Belmonte (ESP), the world champion in the 200m fly in Budapest, had to content with the fourth place in 8:23.30.
Mixed 4x100m free relay
And the third gold medal of the day for Caeleb Dressel – an unprecedented feat in the history of the World Championships – came in the mixed 4x100m free relay, where the North American led-off the quartet for a final winning time of 3:19.60, the second World Record of the day. The previous global mark had been achieved in Kazan 2015, also by the USA in 3:23.05. Dressel swam the first 100m in an excellent time of 47.22, and then was followed by Nathan Adrian, Mallory Commerford and Simone Manuel. The US team did all the race in the lead, winning the fourth gold of the day out of the six finals contested at the Duna Arena. The Netherlands had to settle for silver in 3:21.81 (also under the former WR), while Canada got the bronze in 3:23.55.