Tokyo: Caeleb Dressel of the United States made himself the most successful swimmer in Tokyo, who pocketed five golds from the six events he featured in as the swimming competitions concluded here on Sunday.
In the first race in the morning, Dressel won his fourth gold at the Tokyo Olympics, triumphing in the men’s 50m freestyle.
The reigning world champion set an Olympic record time of 21.07 seconds, 0.48 seconds before Florent Manaudou of France. Bruno Fratus of Brazil took a bronze in 21.57 seconds.
“Winning bronze releases a lot of pressure that was on my back. For the past few weeks I’ve been in my own bubble. I’ve been off social media, so to win the bronze medal is great,” said Fratus.
The 24-year-old Dressel has had three golds in hand prior to Sunday’s final, from 100m freestyle, butterfly and 4x100m freestyle relay.
An hour later, Dressel helped the United States break its own world record to win the last swimming gold in Tokyo from the men’s 4x100m medley relay.
“I’m proud of myself, I think I reached what my potential was here at these Games. It was just really fun racing. I’ll give myself a pat on the back and then I’ll just put it away and move forward. I’m going to take a break here,” said Dressel.
Finishing in three minutes and 26.78 seconds, the American swimmers sliced 0.5 seconds off their previous mark of 3:27.28 set in 2009. Britain won the silver in 3:27.51, while Italy bagged the bronze with the time of 3:29.17.
Team USA has not missed a single gold in the event in every Olympics they attended since 1960, and this is their 15th Olympic title.
Like Dressel, Emma McKeon of Australia hunted a women’s 50m and 100m freestyle double.
The Aussie refreshed her own Olympic record to a 23.81-second finish, edging world record holder Sarah Sjoestroem of Sweden by 0.26 seconds in the women’s 50m freestyle. Defending champion Pernille Blume of Denmark came third in 24.21 seconds.
Shortly after the race, Australia edged defending champion the United States for Australia’s third Olympic gold in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.
Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell won in 3:51.60, a new Olympic record. Team USA was left by 0.13 seconds behind and saw their record of 3:52.05 at London 2012 crashed by the Aussies. Canada took the bronze in 3:52.60. China finished fourth, as they did in Rio five years ago, in 3:54.13.
“It is a little more special to get a win from behind over the US. We’ve been in some incredibly close battles with them over the years where they have got me (Australia). To do it on the world’s biggest stage is a dream come true,” said Campbell on how this relay performance rates in her career.
This is the seventh medal in McKeon’s fruitful journey in Tokyo, after three golds in 50m, 100m freestyle and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, and three bronze medals.
She thus became the second woman to win seven medals in one Olympic Games, after Maria Gorokhovskaya of former the Soviet Union in artistic gymnastics at Helsinki 1952.
“I never thought I’d win two gold medals in one session. I’m very happy. It is very surreal. It (the swim program at Tokyo 2020) went by very quickly, I’m very happy with how the meet went,” said McKeon on winning two Olympic golds this morning.
Elsewhere in the men’s 1,500m freestyle, Robert Finke of the United States won the title in 14 minutes and 39.65 seconds in his first Olympic Games, his second gold in Tokyo after the first from 800m freestyle.
“I came in not really expecting to get a medal or anything and came out of it with two golds, so I am just going to do my best to process things, hang out with my family and teammates here,” said Finke.
Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine touched homed 1.01 seconds behind, adding a silver to his 800m freestyle bronze. Florian Wellbrock of Germany had to settle for a bronze in 14:40.91.