A star is born — Dres­sel emerges from Phelps’ shadow

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

With Michael Phelps back in re­tire­ment, Caeleb Dres­sel stepped out of his idol’s shadow to match the US leg­end’s tally of seven golds at the world cham­pi­onships in Bu­dapest. Dres­sel be­came the first swim­mer to win three world gold medals in one ses­sion on Satur­day, then claimed his sev­enth of the week in the men’s 4x100m med­ley re­lay on Sun­day to match Phelps’ record tally from the 2007 world cham­pi­onships.

Dres­sel’s tally in­cludes three in­di­vid­ual ti­tles in the 50m, 100m freestyle and 100m but­ter­fly, plus four re­lays golds in the 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m mixed freestyle, 4x100m mixed med­ley and Sun­day’s 4x100m med­ley. It put him level with US leg­ends like Phelps, Ryan Lochte, who won five worlds golds in 2011, and Mark Spitz, who win seven golds at the 1972 Olympics in Mu­nich.

“This is prob­a­bly one of the top-five best swim meets ever by an Amer­i­can male-the other four go­ing to Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte,” said the USA’s Olympic back­stroke cham­pion Ryan Mur­phy.

“To be in that com­pany is no small achieve­ment, hope­fully this is just the be­gin­ning for him and he can have a re­ally great ca­reer.” Dres­sel’s feat-espe- cially his jaw-drop­ping tre­ble of golds over 98 min­utes on Satur­day night-is all the more re­mark­able given that he was vir­tu­ally un­heard of, even in the swim­ming com­mu­nity, be­fore th­ese Bu­dapest cham­pi­onships.

“I don’t even know if he went to the Olympics last year? He has def­i­nitely taken a re­ally big step this year,” ad­mit­ted Swe­den’s sprint queen Sarah Sjostrom. Dres­sel’s per­for­mances have been the ic­ing on the cake for the USA, who fin­ished with 38 swim­ming medals in Bu­dapest-over five times more than near­est ri­vals Bri­tain, who have seven.

Katie Ledecky also made his­tory in Bu­dapest as she fin­ished with 14 world golds in her ca­reer to eclipse Missy Franklin, who has 11, as the most dec­o­rated fe­male in cham­pi­onships his­tory.

The 20-year-old freestyle queen won five golds, but by her own ad­mis­sion the medal which stood out was her sil­ver in the 200m freestyle-her first de­feat in 15 fi­nals at a worlds, span­ning three cham­pi­onships.

“That will light some fire un­der me for the next cou­ple of years,” said Ledecky af­ter los­ing to Italy’s Fed­er­ica Pel­le­grini over 200m.

Sjostrom un­der­lined her sta­tus as the world’s best sprinter with freestyle world records over 50m and 100m. Sjostrom also set a new world record in the semi-fi­nals of the 50m freestyle with a time of 23.67sec bet­ter­ing the old mark of 23.73sec set by Ger­many’s Britta St­ef­fen in 2009.

“I’m re­ally happy I could erase one of those tex­tile-suit records,” said Sjostrom. “A lot of peo­ple thought those times from 2009 would be im­pos­si­ble to beat.” Sjostrom claimed two of the seven in­di­vid­ual world records which fell at th­ese world cham­pi­onships.—AFP


BAVEL: Den­mark’s play­ers take part in a team train­ing ses­sion in Bavel, on Sun­day, ahead of Den­mark’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 semi-fi­nal foot­ball match against Aus­tria on Au­gust 3, 2017.

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