Dressel ties Phelps’ record with 7th gold
Caeleb Dressel joined Michael Phelps in another elite club with seven golds at the world championships, the second-biggest meet after the Olympics.
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY » Michael Phelps, you’ve got company.
Caeleb Dressel won his seventh gold medal of the world championships Sunday, putting the U.S. team ahead to stay with another dominating swim in the 4x100-meter medley relay.
Twenty-four hours after becoming the first swimmer to win three golds in one night at a major international meet, Dressel joined Phelps in another elite club: seven golds at the second-biggest meet after the Olympics.
Phelps was the first to do it at the 2007 worlds in Melbourne, Australia — a prelude to his unprecedented eight golds the following year at the Beijing Olympics.
Dressel matched the feat along the banks of the Danube, emerging as America’s next swimming sensation.
“We’re seeing a star being born,” teammate Matt Grevers said.
The 20-year-old University of Florida student won three individual golds and was part of four winning relay teams.
“I’m pretty tired, but, you know, it’s been a good season, a good year, and to put together a seven-day meet, it’s a really nice feeling,” Dressel said. “There’s a lot more that goes into this than just the seven days that people see, so I’m very happy to be done.”
It was a big night all around for the Americans.
Lilly King set her second individual world record of the meet in the 50 breaststroke, again besting Russian rival Yulia Efimova, and returned as part of the women’s 4x100 medley relay that also broke the world record.
“I couldn’t imagine a better finish to this meet,” King said.
Chase Kalisz swept the men’s individual medleys to carry on America’s dominance in those races, even after Phelps’ retirement and Ryan Lochte missing out on Budapest because of his shenanigans at the Rio Olympics.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be on the level of those guys,” said Kalisz, who romped to victory in the 400 IM on the heels of his victory in the 200. “But for me to be able to continue our prior tradition of IM, that was one thing when I grew up that I knew that was our thing.”
The U.S. finished with 18 golds and 38 medals overall — a huge improvement over the previous worlds two years ago in Kazan, where the Americans managed just eight golds and 23 medals.
The home crowd had no complaints, either.
Katinka Hosszu, the “Iron Lady,” finished off her third straight 200-400 IM sweep at the championships, to go along with a pair of golds from Brazil last summer.
“Ria! Ria! Hungaria!” the packed house at Duna Arena chanted, as Hosszu celebrated on deck wrapped in her country’s red, white and green flag.
But this meet will be remembered as Dressel’s coming-out party.
Caeleb Remel Dressel, who won 7 gold medals, shows off the award for best male athlete during the world championships in Budapest, Hungary.