Dressel wins record 3 golds in 1 night
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Caeleb Dressel, 20, established himself as America’s newest star of the pool Saturday, becoming the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics.
The University of Florida student has won six golds medals in Budapest. That gives him a shot at moving into more rarified territory: Michael Phelps is the only swimmer to win seven golds at a world championships, which he did at Melbourne in 2007 as a prelude to his record eight golds the following year at the Beijing Olympics.
Dressel will be a virtual lock to win his seventh when he competes on the 4x100 medley relay today, the final event of the championships.
Dressel started the night with a furious dash from one end of the pool to the other, adding the 50 free world title to the 100 free he already had. He came back about a half-hour later to nearly break Phelps’ world record in the 100 fly, posting a time of 49.86 that was just four-hundredths off the mark set in 2009 at the rubber suit-aided championships in Rome.
The final relay was merely a coronation, the Americans romping to gold in 3 minutes, 19.60 seconds — eclipsing by nearly 3 1/2 seconds the mark they set two years ago at worlds.
Dressel led off the mixed free relay with a blistering time of 47.22 for the first 100 — even more remarkable given what he’d already been through — and his three teammates — Nathan Adrian, Mallory Comerford and Simone Manuel — took it from there.
He even managed to overshadow Katie Ledecky, who won her fifth gold medal of the meet by cruising to victory in the 800 free. Yet Budapest will be remembered as bit of a disappointment for the star of the 2016 Summer Games, who settled for silver in the 200 free and didn’t come close to breaking any of her personal bests.
Ledecky won in 8:12.68, which was nearly 8 seconds off her world record at Rio de Janeiro.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom was another standout, bouncing back from a disappointing loss the previous night to win gold in the 50 fly and set a world record in the semifinals of 50 free. Her time of 23.67 broke the mark of 23.73, set in 2009 by Britta Steffen.