Caeleb Dressel wins men’s 100-metre butterfly, sets a world record

Caeleb Dressel won the men's 100m butterfly final with a new world record time to pick up his third gold medal in the Tokyo Games.

Gold medalist Caeleb Dressel of Team United States poses with the gold medal for the Men's 100m Butterfly Final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.   -  Getty Images

Caelab Dressel was at it again at the Tokyo aquatics centre on Saturday (July 31), winning the men’s 100m butterfly gold medal with a lot to spare and a new world record time.

The supremacy of the American swimmer was never in doubt as stroked his way to glory, leaving the others in the field in his wake.

The 24-year-old Floridian picked up his third gold medal of the Games. With the 100m free and 4x100m freestyle titles, he had signalled his prowess in the semifinals itself. On Saturday, he swam a lead race with splits of 23.00 and 26.45 over the two laps as he shaved off 0.05s off his world record set while winning the 2019 World Championships gold in Gwangju.

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Hungary's Kristof Milak, the winner of the 200m butterfly gold, followed Dressel (49.45) in a new European record of 49.68, while Noe Ponti (Switzerland) took bronze in 50.78, pipping Russian Andrei Minakov in a close finish.

Kaylee McKeown did Australia proud by completing a golden double in the women’s backstroke events, winning the 200m title this morning with a terrific last gasp effort. The 20-year-old, based in Brisbane, looked content to remain behind till the last length, but in a show of strength and power cantered ahead in the nick of time to seal a memorable win in 2:04.68. McKeown had won the 100m gold on Tuesday last with a new Olympic record time of 57.47.

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Kylie Masse (Canada) took silver, just as he had in the 100m, touching the wall in 2:05.42, even as Australian veteran Emily Seebohm claimed the bronze in 2:06.17.

Katie Ledecky might have failed to match her own world record (8:04.79, set in Rio 2016) in the women’s 800m freestyle but the class of the American swimmer was still evident as she emerged a clear winner. In retaining the title, the 24-year-old also was able to exact revenge on Australia's Ariarne Titmus who had pushed her to the second spot in the 400m freestyle final.

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The second gold of the Games came Ledecky’s way as she finished in 8:12.57 ahead of Titmus, who even while settling for the silver in 8:13.82 was able to set a new Oceanian record. Italian Simona Quadarella won the bronze after returning in 8:18.35.

Great Britain was served well by Kathleen Dawson, Adam Peaty and Anna Hopkin as it took gold in the newly introduced mixed 4x100m medley relay, ahead of China and Australia. The winning team did not have the best of starts as Dawson slipped off the wall initially before recovering and returning home to give the rest of her team-mates a fighting chance.

Peaty and Guy - in that order - swam their heart out in the next two laps before Hopkin held on to the lead in the freestyle leg that featured Dressel. The Britons finished with a new record time of 3:37.58 and clinched a fourth gold medal, overall, for the first time in the Games in 113 years. China was placed second (3:38.86) ahead of Australia (3:38.95).

The United States managed to cling on as the top nation in the sport, at its conclusion, with a tally of eight golds, nine silvers, and an equal number of bronzes, but this was a far cry from the 16 golds, eight silvers, and nine bronzes it had picked up in Rio four years ago. Australia came out with its best showing in recent times with a haul of seven golds, three silvers and eight bronzes, while Great Britain was placed third with a tally of 4-2.1.

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