Caeleb Dressel completed his Tokyo Olympics gold rush with two more spectacular swims. The man who hates all the attention will not be able to avoid it now.
He is one of the most admired Olympians.
“I’m really happy to be done,” declared the tattooed Floridian, 24, who won his fourth and fifth gold medals at the Tokyo Games.
Australia’s Emma McKeon put her own remarkable stamp on the record book with a staggering haul of hardware.
McKeon also won two golds, and she became the first woman swimmer and second in any sport to win seven Olympic medals. The gold medals were four, and the bronze ones three.
McKeon, a 27 year-old Brisbane native, said that it would take some time for the concept to sink in. “I am very proud of myself.”
Dressel performed flawlessly in all the events that he was allowed to compete in. He finished his week at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre with a stunning race in which he placed the Americans ahead in the 4×100 Medley relay. This set Dressel on his way to setting a new world record.
He doesn’t plan to savor his triumph for long — which is right on par for a guy who said a day earlier “the sport was a lot more fun when no one knew my name.”
They know it well.
Dressel stated, “I give myself a pat in the back and then all I want is to go home and put it away and continue my journey.”
He won the 50 freestyle easily in his first race on Sunday. Dressel had already joined an elite group of swimmers that won at least five gold medals in one game by the time he was finished.
Michael Phelps was able to do it three times. His record eight golds at 2008 Beijing Games is a testament to that.
You have Mark Spitz (7 golds in 1972), East German Kristin Oto (6 golds 1988) and Matt Biondi (5 golds, also in 1988).
Dressel made it so simple.
It was not.
He said, “It is not the most enjoyable but it is worthwhile.” “I am pretty tired of swimming at the moment.”
McKeon’s Tokyo performance is being reviewed by a number of former swimming legends.
Phelps, Spitz, and Biondi were the only male swimmers to win seven medals at an Olympics.
Only Maria Gorokhovskaya from Soviet Gymnastics was the only woman to win seven golds in any sport. She won five silvers and two golds at 1952 Helsinki Games.
Mirroring Dressel’s final day, McKeon won the 50 free and took the butterfly leg on the Aussies’ winning effort in the women’s 4×100 medley relay.
Dressel was unable to win the 4×100 mixed Medley relay. However, that was not his fault.
The race featured two men and two ladies. Dressel was more than 8 seconds behind Dressel when he assumed the anchor leg.
Dressel couldn’t overcome such a huge deficit.
His time in Tokyo was, however, perfect.
The 4×100 free relay won. A world record in 100 butterfly. A win in the 100 freestyle.
Dressel won the third individual title in the 50-free pool game.
He jumped in and used his dolphin-like underwater technique, to jump out of the water using the clear lead. In a race usually decided by a few hundredths of a second, he touched a half-body length ahead of the field in an Olympic record of 21.07 seconds.
He saw his time, and more importantly, the “1” beside the name of his father, and splashed the water, and then flexed his bulging muscles.
France’s Florent manaudou was the Olympic silver medalist again in 21.55. Brazil’s Bruno Fratus followed in 21.57.
Fratus, 32 years old, felt like a winner. Fratus missed out by two-hundredths a second on the London Olympics medal. He also failed to win a medal in his native country five years ago.
Fratus stated, “I got my own Olympic medal.” It was nine years late for me, but it is mine. I can have peace of mind.”
The U.S. was in second place in the men’s Medley, a race that the Americans have never lost at Olympics. Dressel dived in to capture the butterfly.
He blitzed past Britain and Italy in a blistering leg of 49.03 seconds, faster than anyone else.
Zach Apple made the lead stand up on the freestyle to give the Americans a world record of 3 minutes, 26.78 seconds — eclipsing the mark of 3:27.28 they set at the 2009 Rome world championships in rubberized suits.
Dressel and Apple were joined by Michael Andrew and Ryan Murphy to maintain the streak of unbeaten. The silver medal went to Britain under Adam Peaty (3:27.51), while the bronze was won by Italy (3:29.17).
McKeon finished her own sweep in the freestyle sprints. She touched in an Olympic record 23.81 to finish the 50-title addition to her win in the 100.
Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom won silver with 24.07 seconds, while Pernille Blume from Denmark took bronze with 24.21.
McKeon was able to enter a very rare territory in the medley relay. She took the butterfly leg before Cate Campbell rallied the Aussies to a victory over the two-time defending champion Americans.
“I don’t know how she does that.” McKeon’s teammate Kyle Chalmers said, “I’m exhausted.” “To win an Olympic or gold medal is very special. We are lucky to have her as part of the team.”
Another Olympic record was broken by the Aussies with their winning time of 3:51.60. Abbey Weitzeil was unable to catch Campbell and left the U.S. with silver at 3:51.73. Canada took the bronze (3:52.60).
In keeping with the theme of the day, Bobby Finke pulled off his own sweep in the two longest freestyle races.
Finke was the first American man to win the 1,500 freestyle in 37 years. He also had a strong finish kick. Finke also won the 800 freestyle, which was a new event for men at these games.
Finke’s winning time was 14 minutes and 39 seconds.
Relatively unknown before the U.S. Olympic trials, Finke made startling improvement in recent months. The games being delayed by the pandemic pushed him back one year as well as any other person.
At the end, no one was more dominant. Finke won the final 30 laps after he stayed close to the leader throughout. He left behind Mykhailo Romanchuk, Ukraine (14:40.66), and Florian Wellbrock, Germany (14:40.91).
Finke stated, “I didn’t expect to get any medal or anything.” Finke added, “But I come out with two golds.”
Dressel was expected to do great things.
He was a star who was highly anticipated when he entered the games. Phelps is billed as his successor as the world’s dominant male swimmer.
Almost every goal was achieved when it was finished.
Dressel stated, “I’m proud to myself.” “I feel like these games helped me reach my full potential.”