SWIM­MING

‘Phe­nom­e­nal’ Dres­sel set for world sprint golds

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Caeleb Dres­sel is on the verge of a su­per yes­ter­day at the world cham­pi­onships af­ter clock­ing the fastest times into both the men’s 50m freestyle and 100m but­ter­fly fi­nals. Amer­ica’s Dres­sel al­ready has three gold medals in Bu­dapest fol­low­ing vic­to­ries in the 100m freestyle, plus 4x100m freestyle and mixed 4x100m med­ley re­lay wins.

The 20-year-old clocked 21.29 secs in Fri­day’s freestyle semi-fi­nal, then half an hour later blasted out 50.07 in the fly semis to make him the name to beat in both fi­nals yes­ter­day. Sin­ga­pore’s Joseph School­ing, the men’s Olympic 100m but­ter­fly cham­pion, was fourth fastest into the but­ter­fly fi­nal at 0.71 be­hind Dres­sel and could only ad­mire the Amer­i­can’s stamina.

“Caleb’s just been phe­nom­e­nal-he’s just had an amaz­ing meet,” said School­ing. “He’s been on form, no one can touch him right now. It’s pretty im­pres­sive ac­tu­ally, it makes for an ex­cit­ing race to­mor­row.”

Katie Ledecky can pick up her 14th ca­reer world gold, while sprinter Sarah Sjos­torm hopes to fix her freestyle heartache with but­ter­fly gold.

FIVE-STAR LEDECKY

Ledecky, the most dec­o­rated fe­male swim­mer in world cham­pi­onships’ his­tory, was the fastest into the women’s 800m freestyle fi­nal. Should the 20-year-old favourite de­fend her ti­tle, it will give her a fifth gold in Bu­dapest.

She has al­ready won freestyle golds over 400m and 1500m, plus the 4x100m and 4x200m re­lays, as well as sil­ver in the 200m freestyle, and it would be her 14th over­all. “I’m ex­cited. I al­ways en­joy my last race at a meet, just giv­ing it all and leav­ing it all in the pool,” said Ledecky.

Swe­den’s Sjostrom is hop­ing to heal her hurt from los­ing the women’s 100m freestyle fi­nal on Fri­day, by just 0.04secs to Amer­ica’s Si­mone Manuel, be­fore clock­ing 25.30 sec­onds as the fastest qual­i­fier into Satur­day’s 50m but­ter­fly fi­nal. She can com­plete the but­ter­fly sprint dou­ble af­ter win­ning the 100m gold to­mor­row.

“When I was on the podium (for the 100m freestyle), I saw how close I was to the gold, my fin­ish was re­ally bad, you don’t de­serve to win the gold if you swim like that,” said Sjostrom.

“I won’t talk about a come­back, if I’m fourth or fifth to­mor­row that’s how it is-I want to talk about medals.”

STORMING SEEBOHM

Aus­tralia’s Emily Seebohm, the de­fend­ing world cham­pion, says she will learn from Sjostrom’s freestyle de­feat when she races in Satur­day’s 200m back­stroke fi­nal af­ter clock­ing the fastest time of 2:05.08 in Fri­day’s semis.

“Any­thing can hap­pen to­mor­row nightwe saw that on the 100m freestyle-just be­cause some­one’s in lane four and got the world record and has the fastest time, doesn’t mean they’re go­ing to win,” said Seebohm, who has a bronze in Bu­dapest over 100m.

Canada’s Kylie Masse, the world record holder over 100m, was just be­hind at 0.16 be­hind Seebohm. The Aus­tralian said fear of miss­ing out on a place in the fi­nal in­spired her fast time in the semi. “I guess I was watch­ing the heat be­fore and I de­cided that if I was too slow I might not get through,” said Seebohm. “I’m just go­ing to go out there and en­joy it. “I have a world ti­tle from 2015, it’s not like I need the pres­sure of get­ting a sec­ond. “I’m just go­ing out there to en­joy it if I can go a lit­tle bit faster than tonight I’ll be happy.” —AFP

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