Dressel ‘ in box seat’ says underdog McEvoy
THINGS might have been different for Cameron McEvoy at the Rio Olympics if he had been the chaser rather than the target in the 100m freestyle.
Now he will get the chance to find out.
American Caeleb Dressel made every other 100m contender an underdog for the world title on Sunday, when he led off the US relay in 47.26 sec, significantly faster than any other sprinter in the past year.
Of those gathered in Budapest, only McEvoy has gone faster, but not since he set the fastest time in history in a textile swimsuit, 47.04 sec, at last year’s Olympic trials.
That performance made McEvoy a marked man at the Rio Olympics and he did not handle the situation well, fading to seventh in the final.
But now Dressel will have to bear that load.
“He’s the clear favourite now,’’ McEvoy said after the relay final.
“He’s just swum the third fastest textile time in history ( behind McEvoy’s 47.04sec and James Magnussen’s 47.10sec).
“That puts him in the box seat and it’s exciting now. It’s going to make it a chase for what he can go and we can go.’’
McEvoy’s best this year is his 47.91 sec to win the national title in April but he has put in another solid preparation since then and came to Budapest confident he could contend for the title.