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With 50-Meter Butterfly World Title, Caeleb Dressel Claims The One That Got Away In ‘17

By Karen Price | July 22, 2019, 10:15 a.m. (ET)

(L-R) Oleg Kostin (Russia), Caeleb Dressel and Nicholas Santos (Brazil) pose during the medal ceremony for the men's 50-meter butterfly final at the 2019 FINA World Championships on July 22, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.


Caeleb Dressel shattered a pair of records on Monday, and by the end of the FINA World Championships, he could see his name on more.

On Sunday, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Green Cove Springs, Florida, won his first gold medal as part of the men’s 4x100-meter freestyle in Gwangju, South Korea. On Monday, Dressel crushed the men’s 50-meter butterfly to become the first American man to win the event, setting a new championship and American record in the process with a time of 22.35 seconds. That beat his own American and championship record of 22.57, which he set in the semifinal on Sunday.

Russia’s Oleg Kostin won silver with a time of 22.70, and Brazil’s Nicholas Santos took the bronze medal with a time of 22.79, just ahead of Team USA’s Michael Andrew.

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If things continue to go Dressel’s way, he’ll be staring down a major milestone by the end of the week.

In 2017, Dressel tied Michael Phelps’ record of seven gold medals won at the 2007 world championships, missing out on the podium in only the 50-meter butterfly. He could potentially eclipse that mark with as many as nine events at this year’s world championships. He is the defending champion in the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly as well as three additional relays. He also could compete in the 4x200-meter freestyle for a total of nine events. Dressel will be off on Tuesday but will resume racing Wednesday.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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